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[February 17, 2014]
Urban league CEO says partnerships are key to success of 2015 conference [Sun Sentinel :: ]
(South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 18--Fundraising is only one of many partnerships that will be required when Fort Lauderdale hosts the National Urban League's July 2015 Conference, local organizers say.
The Broward affiliate of the 103-year-old New York-based civil rights organization beat out nine other cities to host the national conference, and expectations are running high.
"This is huge," Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County, said Saturday while addressing members of the South Florida Black Journalists Association.
"It's going to take major local fundraising to make it work," Smith-Baugh said, but other types of partnerships also will be essential.
"I think we have a fabulous opportunity to introduce young people to journalism through this conference," Smith-Baugh said, when asked how the media association could play a role.
One way of doing that would be to create a youth press corps made up of Broward high school students who have a passion for journalism, she said, noting that several schools have journalism programs. "We could gather youth from fall of 2014 into spring of 2015, and we train them to be journalists, to do what you do on a large scale ... for the national conference." This idea would require collaboration between the National Urban League's youth office and the Broward host committee to become a reality, Smith-Baugh noted.
That youth press corps would not only cover the conference but also the Youth Leadership Summit, which brings about 500 students ages 12-18 to the host city and immerses them in a college setting to equip them for college, work and life.
The national conference typically attracts about 5,000 registered attendees made up of influential community leaders, top policy-makers, academicians, business leaders and artists who gather for dialogue, intellectual exchange and community service. Additionally, community residents can attend free events such as an Expo Hall with hundreds of exhibitors, a college fair, and an employment and networking fair.
"It's a great idea as long as the students can operate as journalists," SFBJA President Terence Shepherd said of the youth press corps idea, stressing that the Urban League could itself become the subject of students' stories.
Smith-Baugh also gave the journalists an update on the organization, which works to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups to achieve social and economic equality. That's done through four key areas: education, housing, jobs and health.
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