Times staff report
Birmingham will host the 2023 National Association of Black Journalists Convention & Career Fair, the NABJ announced Thursday.
This is the first time Birmingham has been a location for the national convention.
About 4,000 black industry professionals and journalists attended this year’s convention in Miami in August, one of the largest ever.
“We’re grateful to our friends at the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) and our community and corporate partners who helped make this happen,” said Steve Crocker, president of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists and anchor at WBRC Fox6 News. “We just want our friends and colleagues around the country to see and understand not only Birmingham’s place in history, but also the way it is changing and the opportunities available here.”
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said, “I can’t wait for [thousands] of journalists to visit the Magic City and see why I join so many in calling Birmingham home. We are a progressive city that works every day to put people first. I give kudos to Birmingham Association of Black Journalists’ members, who’ve worked so hard to secure this convention. They are invested in this community and in their organization.”
The Magic City, which has hosted regional conventions, was one of four host locations for national conventions selected through 2026. The others are Chicago 2024; Cleveland 2025 and Atlanta 2026. Previously announced convention cities include Washington, D.C. in 2020, Houston in 2021 and Las Vegas in 2022.
“After thoughtful research, review and dialogue, our Board decided that these cities offer the environment, resources and partnerships that are needed to not only take our conventions to the next level but support the expectations of our attendees,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker.
The newest city and hotel selections were based on a combination of metrics including: potential revenue generation; desirable hotel availability dates and accommodations for meeting space and exhibitor requirements, according to the NABJ.
Historical significance and the opportunity to support robust minority businesses were also factors discussed during the selection process. Birmingham will be commemorating the 60th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights marches in 2023.
Woodfin said, “Having the National Association of Black Journalists’ convention in Birmingham in 2023 will be same year that we, as a city, will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. This will give black journalists across the nation and the globe a peek into how far Birmingham has come and where we are going.”
The site selection review process concluded in early October after site visits to the seven finalist cities, chosen by the Board, were completed. NABJ received multiple proposals from cities across the country. The review process included a multi-city tour conducted by a special NABJ delegation. The tour stops included hotel and venue visits, engagement with local NABJ and community members and meetings with local convention and visitor bureaus.