Donnie McClurkin

*In traditional NABJ fashion, this year’s convention brings some of the biggest names and issues in the news to convention plenaries, workshops and news conferences.

NABJ’s annual conventions bring together the largest gatherings of journalists of color in the country, including the largest career fair for minority journalists. The NABJ Convention is geared to preparing today’s newsrooms with digital journalists and savvy media professionals.

“The convention theme this year is ‘[email protected]: The Power of Change,’ and in our 35th year we will provide the cutting-edge journalism skills that attendees need to compete for the journalism jobs of the future,” said Kathy Y. Times, NABJ president. “This convention is a must for anyone looking to keep pace in a rapidly evolving industry.”

Rutina Wesley of HBO's 'True Blood'

The conference will open with a dynamic message from “America’s Physician,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and featured health expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Special guests in this interactive session include gospel artist, Donnie McClurkin.

Google Senior Vice President David Drummond will discuss freedom of expression issues in this ever-changing digital age. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien will be among the honorees at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards Gala.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele will answer questions about his often controversial statements and other issues as TV One personality and CNN contributor Roland Martin go one-on-one.

One of the most incomparable voices in gospel music, CeCe Winans, will be the headliner for NABJ’s Saturday Gospel Brunch. Critically acclaimed director Spike Lee will screen his latest documentary, “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” at the NABJ Film Festival.

Cast members of the “The Young & The Restless,” “The Game,” Rutina Wesley of HBO’s “True Blood” and Boris Kodjoe of NBC’s upcoming drama “Undercovers” are among the celebrities slated to attend.

A Focus on Health
NABJ also will introduce the Healthy NABJ Pavilion, sponsored by the U.S. Army. The Pavilion will be a complete learning experience for convention attendees, featuring health related workshops, screenings by the American Heart Association and the Black AIDS Institute and a blood drive sponsored by the American Red Cross.

Regina King

Actress Regina King (“Jerry McGuire,” “Boondocks”), will be on hand to launch the Black AIDS Institute’s “Test One Million” campaign to remove the stigma of African-Americans getting tested for HIV/AIDS.

Additionally on Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D. will participate in a lunch session, The Doctors Are In: Checkup on National Health Reform, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The session will focus on how the newly passed health reform legislation will impact the lives of African-Americans.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 3,000 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.