The National Association of Black Journalists is the standard bearer for excellence in journalism. Its annual convention honors the best in the industry by African-Americans working in print, media, online and broadcast journalism – but there’s also a community mandate.
NABJ’s five-day event opens to the public on the fourth day with the Fiat Chrysler 5K Run, Walk and Bike on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Hart Plaza starting at noon.
“After an absence of several years, the NABJ5K Run/Walk/Bike returns Saturday with a big presence through the streets of Detroit,” says Vincent D. McCraw, president of the Detroit Chapter NABJ. “This event, which includes NABJ members and non-members is a great way to get a good workout in and allow participants to see a little bit of our city.”
The convention last made its way to Detroit in 1992, enough distance in time to show the vibrancy and evolution of the city – a celebration of past, present and future. Philadelphia native Dawn Roberts, a former board member of the NABJ, is excited to be a part of this Detroit showcase.
“We’re most excited about the bike tour,” Roberts says. “We’re looking forward to Detroit folk coming out, hanging out with us, enjoying the city and taking advantage of being healthy and getting fitness in, enjoying nature, enjoying the city in a different way.”
Longtime Detroit journalist and former Detroit Free Press writer Cassandra Spratling sees these community events as the perfect opportunity to walk and run around the city. The bike tour provides a view of “places in downtown Detroit that are historically and recreationally important in the city,” she says. This includes Second Baptist Church, the first black church – an important stop on the Underground Railroad – and the Dequindre cut, an attractive space for running and biking.
“It’s going to be a fun way to get fit and enjoy Detroit and enjoy the company of journalists from all over the country,” Spratling says. “Even if you’re not a journalist, even if you’re not registered for the conference, everyone should come out and support this event and help welcome people to our great city.”
Each year, the NABJ auctions off iconic photographs donated by some of the nation’s best photojournalists – all to benefit the NABJ Scholarship Fund. This event, which includes a reception, is free and open to the public and will be held at the Detroit Marriott (Renaissance Center), starting at 11 a.m.
Individuals interested in participating in the Fiat Chrysler 5K Run, Walk and Bike should plan to arrive by 11:30 a.m. for onsite registration, which costs $25. For more information on the event, or to register online, visit https://www.bikesignup.com/Race/MI/Detroit/NABJ5KRunandWalk.