The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) is an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), a nonprofit organization focused on establishing strong ties among African-Americans working in the media and expanding and balancing the media's coverage of the African-American community and experience.

January 25, 2012

CAABJ Super Bowl Party

The Patriots and the Giants are playing, but YOU can be the big winner.
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists is hosting our Super Bowl Party at the newly renovated lounge of the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel.

This is your invitation to a great night. See the biggest game of the year in a stylish locale, with free pizza and snacks while supporting an outstanding cause. Some lucky guests will walk away with phenomenal gifts.

We're holding a raffle for fine jewelry worth hundreds of dollars, a date-night meal for you and someone special, and gift certificates to local shops as well as other door prizes.

The party helps to fund our 2012 college scholarship for currently enrolled future journalists. Tickets are $10 per person and members are encouraged to bring a friend. There's a Sure Shot Discount for news photographers who purchase a ticket by Jan. 29th, so shutterbugs pay only $7.

The party starts at 6pm on Feb. 5. at the Sheraton, 3315 Scott Futrell Drive, Charlotte, NC.  It is conveniently located just off Billy Graham Parkway, Exit 33 from I-85. Tickets can be purchased here. See you there!!

Social Media Secrets Revealed at CAABJ Session

Saturday's Social Media for Journalists training was electric and information-packed. CAABJ members presented their top tips to gaining influence, building a reputation and branding yourself online.
Instagram image by S. Kehinde Patterson.

Jarvis Holliday, who writes Grown People Talking and Charlotte Magazine's Dusk til Dawn nightlife blog, stressed the importance of consistency.

"Whether you update daily or only once a week, make sure you do it at the same time so your readers know when to find you," he shared.

Jameka Whitten, the brain behind JSW Media Group, talked about the importance of branding and authenticity for online audiences. Called2Connect's Davida Jackson walked us through the ins and outs of apps like Storify, Instagram and Pinterest to make our online storytelling more dynamic.

The event was capped off with a #CAABJ follow fest, as everyone shared their Twitter handles and followed each other. You can find the full list here, and if you'd like to be added, leave your handle in a comment below.

Hidden Valley Volunteer Events

CAABJ encourages you to be a visible part of the solution for a neighborhood needing help.
These events take place mid- to late February, so there's some lead time. Please get involved if you can; if you can't, help spread the word.

January 16, 2012

Meeting + Free Social Media Workshop Saturday

Come out to Kickstand this Saturday for our inaugural 2012 meeting. Get the scoop on our upcoming CIAA Mixer, Accessing the Media workshop, Scholarships, and preparations for the Democratic National Convention!

Plus, social media stars Jarvis Holliday (Grown People Talking, Charlotte Magazine), Jameka Whitten (JSW Media Group) and Davida Jackson (Called2Connect) will be presenting "The Social Guide for Journalists," tips and strategies to become a better journalist, blogger and overall writer in today's ever-changing world of social media.

We're looking forward to seeing you and thank you for supporting CAABJ.

WHERE: Kickstand Charlotte, 1101 Central Avenue  (between Hawthorne Lane and Louise Ave)

WHEN: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
For more information, email us at

January 8, 2012

Ken Ward Memorial Service This Monday

Dear CAABJ Members,

Ken Ward's wife Letitia wanted to make sure I thanked you for your prayers and encouraging words following his untimely death.   There is news for those who are interested in helping further.   The family is working on establishing a memorial fund in Ken's name.  We will update you when those plans are finalized.
There will be a public viewing followed by a memorial for Ken in Charlotte on Monday Jan. 9th.  The viewing will be from 1pm 5pm at Grier Funeral Home, 115 John McCarroll Avenue.

The memorial starts at 6pm at The Kappa House at 5409 Beatties Ford Road.  
The executive board of the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists is assisting to help provide refreshments.  I have been asked to speak during the memorial as CAABJ President and a former co-worker.

Ken's funeral service will be held Thursday at Mt Olivet Baptist Church in Peekskill, NY.  The address is 11 Rev. G Franklin Wiggins Plaza, 10566.  The viewing there begins at 10am and the service starts at 11am.

Ken and Letitia have been supporters of CAABJ.  Ken has been an active journalist and an inspiration to aspiring broadcasters.  He was an noted anchor in the Charlotte market and a reporter prominantly featured every weekday morning on the local airwaves.  We continue to wish his family the best in this time of grief.

Ken Lemon
CAABJ President

January 5, 2012

A Message from our President

My heart is heavy after learning of the loss of a fixture on air in the state of North Carolina.  Ken Ward passed Tuesday night from apparent health complications.   
CAABJ President Ken Lemon
 He worked as an anchor for News14 Carolina, and most recently with me as a reporter at WSOC-TV in Charlotte.  Above all things, Ken was a loving father, a caring husband, and a joy to anyone who met him.Wednesday was supposed to be a day of great anticipation for Ken and his wife.  They planned to leave the Queen City and move to Tampa Bay, where Ken would begin work with the ABC affiliate.   Their dream was hours from reality when Ken passed.  News of his unexpected death was shocking to his family and friends.
Ken and his wife selflessly gave their time and energy to the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists.  Their contributions will not be forgotten.  We extend our prayers to their family.  It is our desire that his loved ones are comforted in these trying times.
In this time of great loss, I am reminded of the words echoed by my pastor when I was a child:
"Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a few things.  I will make you ruler over many.  Enter into the joy of the Lord." (Matthew 25:21)

Ken Lemon
CAABJ President

January 4, 2012

Charlotte Reacts to Reporter Ken Ward's Death

QCityMetro's Michaela Duckett writes:
"Channel 9 Eyewitness News reporter Ken Ward has died. He was 44.
According to Bill Fish, an investigator with the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ward’s body was picked up from Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. The cause of death was not immediately known, he said."
full story here...
Condolences poured from coworkers and friends in the journalism community.
"He will be sorely missed," said Ken Lemon, CAABJ President.
"My heart is heavy," wrote Davida Jackson, CAABJ Treasurer.
"His death is a huge loss to the journalism industry. My heart goes out to his wife, and I am sending prayers up for his family," Dedrick Russell, CAABJ Past President, told QCityMetro.
Ken at CAABJ's annual Bowling with the Journalists scholarship
fundraiser in May. Photo by Jon Strayhorn/Media Arts Collective.

The Twittersphere, too, was rocked by the news:
@BrigidaMack: "Still can't believe this."
@ShaeCrissonWTVD: "Thoughts are with the family of Ken Ward."
@ArmstrongWTVD: "Stunned. Prayers to his wife and family."
@SuzyStark: "So sad & shocked, heartborken for wife & son. Such a happy & kind person."
@TheyCallMeSash: "Praying for him and his family."

Arrangements have not yet been announced. Do you have a special memory with Ken? Please share it below, or on our Facebook page.