Sharpton And West To Debate At Black Newspaper Publishers Annual Conference In Chicago June 22-25

By Special to the Daily World
CHICAGO – Black Newspaper publishers from across the country will meet at the annual National Newspaper Publishers Association/The Black Press of America conference June 22-25 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

The highlights of this year’s event include a debate between National Action Network founder and civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Cornel West, professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University, on the subject of President Barack Obama and the Black Agenda Friday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m.

Also featured will be a national leaders forum moderated by Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and featuring Chuck Morrison of Ford Motor Co., Dr. Benjamin Chavis, co-founder, president and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, academic and professor of sociology at Georgetown University, Rainbow PUSH founder Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach and founder of the US Organization and Rev. Al Sharpton. The leaders forum will be   Friday, June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, will speak on the topic of the “Press & the Pulpit.”

Fortune 500 companies including AT&T, Ford, GM, Nielsen and Wells Fargo will join NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell for a discussion on the importance of advertising in the Black press on Friday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m.

This year’s event will also feature forward-looking dialogue with a focus on growing revenue and audience in today’s marketplace. Topics include: mobile innovation, social media, advertising customer insights, increasing digital loyalty, growing circulation, and much more.

Throughout the conference AT&T will host a CyberCafe and host a Multi-Media Platform workshop on Thursday, June 23.

“Black newspapers are formulating and adopting aggressive new strategies to grow our audience and drive up revenue. Our annual conference offers newspaper publishers the critical opportunity to share success stories and learn about innovative strategies,” said Bakewell.  “In addition to exceptional programming, the conference allows attendees to get in front of over 200 major Black publishers and for major advertisers to meet our members and to learn about the role the Black press plays in America.”

The 2011 NNPA Legacy of Excellence Awards will be given to Xernona Clayton, founder, president and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation,  and Garth C. Reeves, publisher emeritus of the Miami Times. Reeves is America’s oldest living Black newspaper publisher. The Legacy of Excellence Award was created to honor Black publishers whose life’s works mirror the courage, commitment, sacrifice, and achievement demonstrated in publishing Black newspapers throughout America and the world.  The event will take place on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. in the Gold Coast Ballroom.  Entertainment will be provided by the Legendary Temptations.

Full information on the conference, including programming and registration details, is available at

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