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The hum of voices drew near as participants migrated from the cocktail reception into the Penrose meeting room at the Marriott City Center in Downtown Denver. The 29th Annual Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet presented by the Colorado Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) was an amazing event to experience.
As a journalism major, I had the opportunity to witness how the mechanics of radio, broadcast, and print journalism combine to bring a variety of stories together.
CABJ President Gabrielle Bryant welcomed the group and commended the organization’s commitment to integrity, community service, and excellence in media. “It’s comforting to know that in spite of all the changes in the industry, that our hopes and dreams can be fulfilled in becoming the journalists we so desire to be,” Bryant said.
After highlighting the benefits and impact of the organization, Bryant passed the microphone on to Denver-native Justin Adams of NewsRadio KOA, the Master of Ceremonies for the night.
Dinner was followed by the 2016 Community Service Award presented to Voz y Corazon, of the Mental Health Center of Denver. CABJ provided a journalism workshop for students in partnership with Voz y Corazon. Theresa Cole, a student at the Community College of Denver was awarded the 2016 CABJ scholarship, with a $500 cash prize.
The highlight of the evening was a conversation between radio personality Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams and Charles ‘CJ’ Johnson, both of Denver sports radio, 104.3 The Fan. The longtime friends shared their unique experiences in their journey, beginning from their athletic careers at CU-Boulder.
Williams encouraged the audience to embrace all of life’s adventures. “You have to take chances and you have to believe in yourself,” Williams said. “Live this day the best way you can.”
Founded in 1987, CABJ will celebrate its 30-year anniversary soon. The organization provides a supportive network with direct access to the mainstream media for the African-American community.
A complete list of awards can be seen on the organization’s website.