Close Treasurer’s Race Fills Out New NABJ Board

By Christian Crittenden

Jarrad Henderson (top) emerges as the new NABJ Academic Representative.
Walter Smith-Randolph (bottom) is the new NABJ Treasurer.

Walter Smith-Randolph and Jarrad Henderson have emerged as NABJ’s new treasurer and academic representative, respectively, after two contested races for the board of directors.

Smith-Randolph, the programming chair for this year’s virtual convention and co-chair for the Young Journalists Task Force, defeated Ernest Owens in the treasurer’s race by a 30-vote margin, 289-259. During the campaign, Owens said the race could reflect discrimination against him as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, which many feel is not truly supported by the organization.

“I know that he had a lot of concerns in this race,” Smith-Randolph said. “I want to thank him for his competitive spirit and for his love of NABJ. He’s run a few times now. We want to make sure we are listening to all our members making sure that all of our members are included. I want to be a listening ear to everyone. I want to make sure that no one feels left out.”

Henderson will inherit the academic representative job, a position that was almost removed from NABJ’s board of directors. Henderson received 53% of the vote en route to beating Dr. Milbert Brown Jr. and Russell Motley, who split the other 47%. 

The treasurer-in-waiting is currently a reporter and special project contributor for WKRC Local 12 in Cincinnati. In addition to his other roles, he is the vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists. 

Henderson served as the chair for NABJ’s Virtual Task Force. He has been a member of NABJ since 2008, when he was a member of the student multimedia project. Henderson is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University who works as a senior producer on USA Today’s investigate team.  

“The things I promised during this campaign—established voting power for our academic members, raise money for our programming at NABJ, including helping our student projects expand,” Henderson said. 

There were two uncontested races. Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig will serve as the next parliamentarian, and Tre’vell Anderson will be the Region IV director. 

Fitzhugh-Craig is the founder and publisher of Shades magazine. She has been a member of NABJ since 2000 and has served in multiple roles in her time with the organization. 

Anderson is currently the president of the National Association of Black Journalists LA chapter, along with being the co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Task Force 

The elections committee plans to enact an election code of conduct into place for how candidates and members should conduct themselves during the election season. 

Next year’s elections will fill the following positions: president, vice president, vice president of digital, vice president of broadcast, secretary, Region I director, Region III director and a student representative. 

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