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Monica Foster of The Skanner
Published: 27 June 2007

Publishers and editors from across the United States representing more than 200 Black community newspapers visited downtown Seattle June 20-24 for the National Newspaper Publishers Association's 67th annual convention at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

> Chairman's Award recipient Tracie Powell, second from left, stands next to The Skanner Founder Bernie Foster, far left; NNPA Chairman and John B. Smith Sr., right.

The convention celebrated 180 years of the Black Press, which has a combined readership of 15 million people. The Seattle Skanner co-hosted the event, which carried the theme "Building Coalitions for the Future."

NAACP Chairman John B. Smith, Sr. of The Atlanta Inquirer, was re-elected chairman, and Karen A. Love from The Michigan Chronicle and The Michigan FrontPAGE was elected first vice chairwoman.

< From left to right are Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels; Ruby Jones, community affairs director for Turner Construction; and the mayor's wife, Sharon Nickels, at the opening reception of the 2007 NNPA Convention.

The opening night featured a welcome reception sponsored by Nordstrom with Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and his wife Sharon; King County Council Chair Larry Gossett; Amelia Ransom Letcher, divisional vice president for diversity affairs at Nordstrom; NAACP President James Bible; Urban League President James Kelly; Dorothy Leavell, chairwoman, NNPA Foundation; University of Washington Women's Basketball Coach Tia Jackson and other notables in attendance.

> King County Council Chairman Larry Gossett, left, meets with University of Washington Women's Basketball Coach Tia Jackson, center, and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels at the NNPA conference, held last week in Seattle.

The conference focused on continuing its mission to advance the African American community, working together to bring positive change and bring a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard, tackling important issues such as education and health care in our communities and ensuring equality and progress for all. 

Speakers from the four-day convention included Congressman James Clyburn, D-S.C., House majority whip; King County Executive Ron Sims; City Councilmember Richard J. McIver; Carl Mack, executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers; Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality; Rev. Ruth Saunders, associate minister of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; and many others.

Darryl Mobley, president and founder of the Family Digest Media Group and Clint C. Wilson II, Ed. D. from Howard University Department of Journalism gave a special presentation on the history of the Black Press. Dr. Wilson is widely regarded as the nation's foremost scholar of the Black Press.

> Bobbie Dore Foster  executive editor of The Skanner, left, with Amelia Ransom Letcher, divisonal vice president of corporate diversity affairs for Nordstrom.

Highlights of the convention included a Technology Day at Microsoft campus in Redmond that included a "technology and the newspaper industry" workshop, software demonstrations and a luncheon.

< Colan Sewell, president of Blacks at Microsoft, speaks during the recent Black Press convention.


> From left to right: The Skanner Founder Bernie Foster; NNPA Chairman John Smith Sr.; and Ric Bates from the Ford Motor Company, gather at the Ford Motor Company Chairman's Reception held June 21 at the Columbia Tower in Seattle.

The Black Church Praise Breakfast, held Friday morning, featured keynote speaker King County Executive Ron Sims. The Total Experience Gospel Choir and Mt. Zion Youth Praise Dancers performed at the breakfast.

Saturday's "Building Coalitions for Diversity in Advertising" featured panelists from various multicultural advertising firms across the country discussing diversity advertising and marketing in the African American community.

For more information on the NNPA, visit www.nnpa.org



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