The State – 03/29/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting snow during the morning which will give way to partly cloudy conditions during the afternoon with a high of 40 degrees and a low of 21 degrees.

From East Lansing to Birmingham, Alabama: NABJ gears up for the 2023 National Black Journalism convention

National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), a student journalist organization at Michigan State University, is once again fundraising for the opportunity to attend the National Journalism convention, which will take place this year in Birmingham, Alabama.

The convention will take place this summer on Aug. 2 to Aug. 6, providing an experience for Black journalists to network, connect with young journalists like themselves and to even see and meet some of their journalist inspirations.

NABJ has been a part of MSU’s and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences (ComArtSci) history since 2016 when Treasure Roberts brought the organization back to life. NABJ focuses on professional development, helping MSU students regardless of their major develop interview skills and gain hands-on experience. Through hard work, dedication, and professionalism, NABJ has been a Black organization that has impacted the Black students inside ComArtSci.

Journalism senior Lily Cross is the current president of NABJ for the 2022-23 school year. She said NABJ is a club that’s all about community and wants to bring that life into the halls of ComArtSci and beyond.

Journalism sophomore Jaden Hawkins is the membership outreach chair of NABJ for the 2022-23 school year. She said the convention has helped prepare her to professionally present herself to her idols she meets at the convention. Hawkins also said her idols introduce her to other journalism careers that she never thought of.

NABJ’s executive board also works to prepare members for the convention through conversations about what to wear, what questions to ask and what documents to bring. Hawkins said even though she wasn’t prepared for her first convention, which was in 2021, she now knows what to do.

Aside from the convention, MSU’s chapter of NABJ is always open to new members and any MSU students who want to attend the workshops they provide. The club is open to students who want to prepare for the professional world and seek a sense of community and belonging among the busy lives of MSU students.

MSU student creates trading cards featuring little-known, influential women in history

Shawna Morton, a strategic communication master’s student, is bringing attention to important women in history, one card at a time.

Morton came up with the idea to create trading cards inspired by influential, obscure women that have made essential contributions to various fields. Her collection of 41 trading cards was inspired by the limited acknowledgment of women she encountered throughout her education.

Morton said that many times, society focuses on women’s appearance and beauty rather than their ideas and accomplishments. With the trading cards, she said, she wanted to redirect that focus and highlight their work, instead.

She said it is easier to find unknown women of color because history books detail a lot more about white women.

This year, Morton worked with second and third-graders from Donley Elementary School to help students create a piece of art inspired by the women they learned about.

Morton and art teacher Amy Miros facilitated a project where students selected, researched and painted one of the featured women. The art is displayed at Lansing’s Impression 5 Museum until March 31 and the community opening ceremony was held on March 5th.

Though none of the students knew any of the women on their cards, Morton said many students gravitated towards certain women, such as Temple Grandin, Razia Sultana and Marie Curie.

Morton noticed many attitude and idea changes among students as the project developed.

At the gallery’s opening ceremony, Morton noted that she and many of the parents became very emotional. She said because of the recent tragedy at Michigan State University, seeing the community and kids coming together during this time was a gratifying display of resilience.

‘Career closet clothing drive’ will provide students with free professional clothing

MSU Career Services Network has launched a “career closet” initiative where students can gain access to professional clothing that they may need for interviews, conferences and events.

The network will be hosting a “professional clothing drive” until Friday, April 28 to obtain more clothes for the initiative. People are encouraged to donate gently used professional and business casual clothing.

The two locations that are open for drop-offs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
is the Student Services Building and the Career Services Office.

The program is dedicated to providing students with clothing so they can walk into a professional environment feeling comfortable and confident, coordinators Victoria Morris and Ellise Lee said.

Students can borrow the outfits for two weeks at a time but visit the closet as often as needed.

Following the drive’s Monday, March 20 launch, enough donations have been received to put together numerous outfits. Donations are sought through April to collect a diverse selection of items.

The initiative is also holding an online fundraiser to raise money in case they need to purchase sizes that are not collected during the drive.

The Career Services Network will host a grand opening for the professional closet in the fall. Morris said it will be well stocked just in time for fall career fairs.

Based on original reporting by Shakyra Mabone, Jada Vasser, Dipika Rao and Hannah Holycross.