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White House Correspondent, April Ryan Named 2017 NABJ Journalist of the Year

April Ryan

April Ryan

April Ryan has been selected as the 2017 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). The annual award recognizes a black journalist who has a distinguished body of work that has extraordinary depth, scope and significance to people of the African Diaspora.

A 30-year journalism veteran, Ryan has a unique vantage point as the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House – a position she has held for American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) since January 1997. Her position as a White House correspondent for AURN has afforded her unusual insight into the racial sensitivities, issues and political struggles of our nation’s last three presidents.  

“April Ryan is a true trailblazer and truth seeker. She’s dogged and unapologetic about her pursuit of the story,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “In the White House press corps circle, where too few black women have been given an opportunity to report, April has excelled and persevered in spite of the many obstacles she has confronted. Her work has risen to the top.”

Trailblazer adequately describes Ryan, who received the 2016 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Trailblazer Award from the National Council of Negro Women, an honor she was ecstatic about receiving. She has served on the board of the prestigious White House Correspondent’s Association. She is one of only three African Americans in the association’s more than 100-year history to serve on its board. She is also a member of the National Press Club.

On behalf of American Urban Radio Networks’ 300 affiliates, and through her “Fabric of America” news blog, Ryan delivers her readership and listeners a “unique urban and minority perspective in news.”

A Baltimore native and Morgan State University graduate, Ryan gives back by serving as a mentor to aspiring journalists, and helps develop up-and-coming broadcasters. As much as she loves her job, which has expanded since recently joining CNN as a political analyst, Ryan is especially proud of what she calls her greatest life’s work – her two daughters, Ryan and Grace.

“It is wonderful to be honored by such an esteemed organization,” said Ryan. “I am humbled and honored. So many of these [NABJ] journalists do important work and I am so thankful they would think of me for this honor. It has been an amazing couple of months and you guys give me some wind to say ‘keep going.’

Ryan has made headlines while working her beat at the White House. She had public exchanges with President Donald J. Trump over the Congressional Black Caucus and with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Her tense exchange with Spicer helped fuel the #BlackWomenAtWork hashtag.
 
While thankful for the honor, Ryan also took a minute to reflect on the industry and encourage black journalists to remain vigilant because “we add to the stories.”

“We all have a job to do and some of the stories we are doing wouldn’t be told if it weren’t for us,” Ryan elaborated. “We all need to keep pressing because the First Amendment is under attack.”  

Ryan is more than deserving of this award,” said NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker. “She has had a stellar career and we know that she will continue to cover the White House providing accurate, fair and exceptional reports, while asking the tough, probing questions that we know and respect her for.”

Ryan is the author of the award winning book, “The Presidency in Black and White,” garnered her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author. Her latest book, “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White,” published in December 2016, looks at race relations through the lessons and wisdom that mothers have given their children. A paperback version of “The Presidency in Black and White,” with updates about President Trump, will be published later this year.
 
Ryan will be recognized at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards at the NABJ Convention and Career Fair on Aug. 12, 2017 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. NABJ Convention registration and Salute to Excellence Awards tickets are for sale here.

NABJ congratulates April Ryan on this well-deserved honor.

First National Real Dads Read Day Set for June 9

It wasn’t too long ago that Fathers Incorporated, a leading national nonprofit for the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood, launched its new initiative, Real Dads Read (RDR), in Atlanta, GA. The initial project objective was to create literacy centers in barbershops with the goal of encouraging father-child involvement through reading and improving literacy for young children. Today, with help from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, RDR has established 26 libraries in barbershops around metro Atlanta and 9 in Columbus, GA. In addition, 45 barbershops and partners engaged in a citywide book drive, collecting 2,245 books, which included a large donation from the Atlanta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi.

“We are encouraged that so many organizations have come on board to celebrate and support the effort of Real Dads Read,” says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. “The inquires to bring the project to other cities around the country are overwhelming. We have had to temper the excitement because we are still building our capacity to meet the tremendous need and requests for RDR,” Braswell continues. “Fathers Incorporated is now working on building the RDR infrastructure to support broader and more intentional programmatic activities.” Currently, RDR has a pilot site in Columbus, GA with its partner, Chattahoochee Valley Parent 2 Parent.

One RDR program objective is the creation of a national engagement day. Fathers Incorporated is pleased to announce its inaugural National Real Dads Read Day on June 9, 2017. This day is designed to encourage individuals, groups, businesses, etc. to plan reading activities in support of fathers/male caregivers and their children. “This day supports all our program outcomes for children,” says Lamont Jones, co-partner of RDR and CEO of Furthering Fathering. While RDR is designed to encourage all fathers to read to their children, there is a focus on children of color, particularly in low-income communities.

Real Dads Read is aimed at elementary and middle school aged children (K-8) and their fathers/male caregivers with the goals of 1) encouraging children to develop a love of reading, 2) improving children’s literacy skills and educational outcomes, and 3) strengthening bonds between fathers/caregivers and their children.

National Real Dads Read Day will take place each year on the 2nd Friday of June. “This isn’t complicated; children do better on a host of measures, including reading, when fathers are actively involved in their care, so we simply want to earmark this day to encourage reading among dads and their children and remind the public of the important roles fathers play in the lives of their children. We encourage whatever you can do as a dad, individual, group, business, or organization to help achieve this outcome. Let us know about your efforts and plans so we can let others know,” says Braswell. RDR is planning a twitter chat (@RealDadsRead), social media contest (#2017NATRDR), and other fun activities to support National Real Dads Read Day on June 9, 2017.

Fathers Incorporated has submitted several requests to cities to proclaim June 9th as National Real Dads Read Day, including Atlanta and Columbus.

For tips on engaging fathers, barbershops, planning events and more information on National Real Dads Read Day visit their website at www.realdadsread.org, email us at fathers incorporated@gmail.com, or call our office at 770-804-9800.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown Leads in Polls After Tuesday’s Election

COMPTON, CA- Mayor Aja Brown, 35, Mayor for the City of Compton, was elected as the youngest mayor in history at the age of 31. She is now in the running for re-election to continue the work in making Compton a better city.

The first round of votes were held on Tuesday, April 18. After Tuesday’s election, Brown is leading the way with 2,435 votes. Over 1,700 ballots were counted this this week and the rest are expected to be counted on Thursday, April 27.

“Thank you for the love, support and prayers throughout this entire election process,” Brown stated. “For those who voted to finish the work with us, thank you. To every single person who picked up a phone and called someone on our behalf, knocked on doors, hung signs, helped in the campaign office, liked, shared and retweeted news about our campaign–thank you. To all of our supporters in Compton and beyond–thank you!”

All candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the votes to avoid the runoff election on June 6.