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5 Reasons Black Female Millennials Should Attend the 2018 NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair in Detroit

by Jamilah Jackson

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We millennials sure do love to travel. Traveling tips have been the topic of almost every young black professional blog. Whether traveling for fun or professional reasons, a good turn up is always appreciated. So why not combine the two at this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ Convention & Career Fair in Detroit?

It’s the first time the convention has been held in the Motor City in over 25 years, so you know Detroiters are going to show out. This year’s theme is “Driving Journalism, Technology and Trust.” It’s no secret that Detroit has become a leader in the technology and innovation industry and that, in today news cycle, we could build on trusting voices in the newsrooms.

Here are five reasons you should grab your girls and #MeetMeInTheD for #NABJ18.

1. Black Girl Magic is running amuck at this year’s convention.

Any convention or festival you attend with Black people is bound to overflow with Black Girl Magic and this year’s NABJ convention is no exception. At the helm of NABJ’s Black Girl Magic is National President Sarah Glover. Leading the honorary convention committee are two of Detroit’s favorite ladies, Jemele Hill of “The Undefeated” and Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley. Both are known for holding nothing back and getting straight to the truth.

In addition to the amazing leadership, some awesome women will be honored during the convention’s Salute to Excellence Gala. Natasha S. Alford of “The Root” was recently named NABJ’s Emerging Journalist of the Year and WDIV-Local 4’s Rhonda Walker will be honored with the Angelo B. Henderson Community Service award for her work with the Rhonda Walker Foundation. Hill is also receiving the honor of being named NABJ’s Journalist of the Year. The ladies are running it this year and we have to show up and support them.

2. The career fair is lit!

Even if you’re not a journalist, the career fair is the place to be for young professionals. Millennials are changing the way news is being received and even how it’s being made. Bloggers and social media enthusiasts will definitely find the career fair to be a major help in their career.

When I attended the fair in 2015, fresh from graduation, I passed out so many résumés and business cards. I was able to shake hands with NBC executives and news directors from top 100 markets. I was able to walk away with three interviews and even a job offer.

The best part of the career fair was being surrounded by so many black women rocking their natural hair. As a black woman pursuing a career in the broadcasting field, I knew natural hair would deter a lot of people from hiring me. I don’t know what it is about the NABJ career fair but hiring managers were able to see past that and really assess my talent and skills. So, if you’re in the market for a job, make sure you stop by.

3. The celebrities will be in the building.

I really mean it when I say NABJ isn’t just for journalists. Media mogul Tyler Perry will host a master class on entrepreneurship and branding. Now you know these are buzzer words for our generation, especially us ladies. The number of Black female-owned businesses has risen 67% since 2007. Why not learn from a multi-millionaire how to make your business just as successful?

Also on the celebrity list is actor and comedian Brandon T. Jackson. The Detroit native will be joining a panel entitled “When Art Meets Activism.” Speaking of activists, Social justice warrior Shaun King will join the W.E.B DuBois Plenary session.

4. Workshops galore.

For my avid learners, there will be some great workshops. I’ve looked at the list and I already know my schedule will be double-booked. Topics include “Racism and Sexism in Sports,” “Pitching a Podcast,” “Turning Content into Cash,” “Beyond Alabama: Are Black Women Ready for the 2018 Midterms?” and “#METOO and the Intersection of Race and Class.” These are just some of the many workshops that will be happening during the convention. A full list can be found here. And there’s more coming.

5. The concerts and parties.

Now you know you can’t come to the D and not attend a good turn up. Between the KEM and Tamar concert at Chene Park and the Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam, you will definitely find a good lituation. I fully plan on getting my auntie on with KEM and Tamar then heading to the Sports Task Force party to find me a baller. #SorryNotSorry I’ve heard these parties are legendary and always sell out so you might want to get a ticket.

Each year, the convention also sets time aside for us millennials to get together and have our own little turn up. What better way to network with your peers?

So Aug. 1-5 will be epic. Over 3,000 journalists and media-related professionals will make Detroit home. Did I mention that Detroit is 80 percent black? If you love social media, have a podcast, want to learn how to market your business, want to be surrounded by a sea of blackness, aspire to be a thought leader, #NABJ18 is the place for you. If the reasons above aren’t enough for you, I’ll leave you with this final plea: The goodie bags at NABJ will be filled with every type of Black Girl Magic product imaginable. When I went in 2015, I had a 3-month supply of Miss Jessie’s. Yup, I said it. So, I guess you will #MeetMeInTheD.

Pre-registration for NABJ ends on June 25. Secure your spot today by clicking here.

Keep up with all my writing at thenomadicblogger.com.