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Monday, April 28, 2014


Writer: Christopher Etienne
Writer: Ijeoma Unachukwu
Editor: Justin Hockaday

Approximately 50 protestors arrived at the historic “Old Queens” office building of Rutgers University President Robert Barchi Monday afternoon to contest the institution’s decision to invite former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the 2014 Commencement speaker.

The university revealed Rice’s status as the keynote speaker in late February.

With plans to give her an honorary law degree and $35,000 for her appearance, the announcement sparked political controversy and debate on campus due to her role in the Iraq War.

“Robert Barchi is not listening to the student population; he is supposed to represent us…” said Rutgers University student Nisa Haider, “he is turning a deaf ear toward the cries of us Rutgers students.”

Regardless of Barchi’s intentions or hearing capabilities, he was not physically present in his office for the duration of the protest, but security was.  

Denying protestors’ access to restrooms as well as refusing them re-entry once they left the premises of the Old Queens office, campaigners found the conditions surrounding the demonstration less than desirable.

However, this protest was just the latest extension in the Rice selection controversy as some faculty members, who chose to remain anonymous, voiced their dissatisfaction with the selection process.

Stating, “Usually there is an invitation to the administration to nominate a speaker. However, this year the only thing that we received was a notification that Condoleezza Rice was already selected... No need to make a nomination.”

Activists from the student organization “Students for Justice in Palestine” echoed these sentiments regarding the lack of diplomacy in this year’s selection, and demanded a platform to speak with President Barchi. 

Protestor Sherif Ibrahim agreed, “We want a meeting with Barchi … and we want it to happen while we’re in the building.”

Nonetheless, because students were prohibited re-entry to the Old Queens office after leaving, many went hours without eating until the evening approached and officials announced that the building would close.

After some deliberation, students vacated the premises to avoid facing prosecution.

Despite the adversity, these Rutgers students adamantly insisted that they will continue to contest Barchi’s decision until their cries are acknowledged.

In a statement sent from Barchi to the student body regarding the issue of Rice’s selection earlier this month, he stated the following:

“We have even heard from high school students who have written to say that they would withdraw their Rutgers applications if we rescind – or fail to rescind – our invitation to her, [Rice]” Barchi wrote.  “These are the kinds of exchanges that every great university welcomes.  Like all vibrant intellectual communities, Rutgers can thrive only when it vigorously defends the free exchange of ideas in an environment of civil discourse.”

Yet, some would argue that this “free exchange of ideas” Barchi referenced has a cost. 

With only a few short weeks until the university’s commencement ceremony, it will be interesting to see how much each faction is willing to pay in order to defend its ideas surrounding this issue.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rutgers University West Indian Student Organization CARIBBEAN DAY 2014

Students, musicians, and faculty gathered at the Rutgers University Paul Robeson Center, April 19th, 2014 in a celebration of West Indian culture and unity.  With live performances, a fashion show, and great vendors, the West Indian Student Organization (WISO) delivered yet another successful installment of its annual "Caribbean Day" celebration.  Performers included WISO's very own dance team, up and coming artists, as well as a marquee performance by popular Jamaican artist Baby Cham.  Check out the highlights below!




For more highlights check out Ray Cheley's Youtube Channel entitled "The Taste Bud Reviewer" OR on our "NABJ News" Youtube page.

Friday, April 18, 2014

RU Wanawake "Black Dynasty" Banquet

Writer: Tatiana Zamis
Editor: Justin Hockaday

In an honorary ceremony showcasing African-American excellence and philanthropy on Friday April 18, 2014 in the Rutgers University Student Center, RU Wanawake’s “Black Dynasty” Banquet provided attendees with a sense of empowerment.

Wanawake “aims to develop initiatives that assist women and men of all races, encouraging them to make an impact in society while giving them a reason to celebrate their womanhood/manhood… [giving] children the resources for excellent achievement and the tools to dream far beyond any limitation, especially African children and other Minorities…”

"Project Dental All" 
Certainly fulfilling their mission with this event, Wanawake provided an award to an organization that is working hard to accomplish those aforementioned initiatives.

“Project Dental All,” is a New Jersey based non-profit organization that provides proper dental hygiene care and products to people across the world who are not fortunate enough to have the necessary resources to do so themselves.

With operations in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Haiti, and several other locations throughout the world, the charitable organization humbly accepted the recognition while expressing optimism about the future as the crowd applauded.

Also an award recipient was the accomplished Rutgers University senior Alyea Pierce, author of “Every Stranger Deserves a Poem” and celebrating the recent release of her EP entitled “A Stranger’s Voice.”

Host: Quadeer Porter
“We wanted to expand our ideas, open it up to both sexes and find a representation of their great impact,” stated RU Wanawake Public Relations chair Faidat Gbajabiamila, “We were inspired by the theme of TWESE’s “Black Excellence” and wanted to give our guests a feeling of royalty when they walked in the room.”

When asked to describe how he felt about the event, Rutgers’ alumni and host, Quadeer Porter simply stated that he was “humbled to host something with such a positive atmosphere, where people of color can come together for an empowering event.”

Keynote Speaker: Kofi Genfi
Echoing Porter’s humility and sense of achievement were the event’s two guest speakers.

“In order to ascend to the next level, the next dimension, you have to break through this glass ceiling,” said keynote speaker Kofi Genfi, “And by breaking through this glass ceiling you have to expect that there may be some bloodshed… I told myself that I could either stay in crisis or keep going, and I chose to keep going.”

Keynote Speaker: Yetunde Odugbesan
Genfi emphasized the importance of taking pride in one’s identity, stressing “Don’t ever undermine your importance to the world. Your presence inspires the people from where you are from… Your name means something – so make sure they pronounce it correctly.”

Following Genfi was Yetunde Odugbesan, a highly sought after and dynamic public speaker who sent the message that “Your passion will lead you to your purpose.” And spoke on the importance of minority students preparing themselves with practical experience and knowledge prior to entering the workforce. 

Thus, with exciting events such as their “Wana-Showoff” Talent show in the fall semester, their annual banquet, and meetings every Tuesday night promoting intellectual thought and community service programs, RU Wanawake’s “Black Dynasty” banquet did not only exemplify those in the community promoting excellence, but epitomized everything they stand for as an organization.

RU Wanawake is no longer an up and coming organization, they have arrived.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


President of Black Student Union, Fawzan “Fez” Lari is very passionate about the issues that affect the minority communities on and off the Rutgers Campus. Lari sat down and told us about the history of Unity day and why it was important to students of all cultures.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pink Ties for Progress: Douglass Black Students Congress Raise Breast Cancer Awareness

Writer: Justin Hockaday

National Association of Black Journalists: Rutgers University

Rutgers University students and distinguished guests arrived dressed to impress for a good cause, April 5th, 2014 for the 2nd Annual "Pink Tie Affair" hosted by the Douglass Black Students Congress (D.B.S.C.).

In an effort to raise Breast Cancer awareness, the banquet featured guest speakers, spoken word performances, as well as a luminary ceremony which honored those past and present who have been afflicted by the disease. 

"The preparation for Pink Tie, without a doubt, was a group effort..." offered D.B.S.C. historian and public relations chair Egypt Pringley, "We work hard to keep our reputation as an organization that hosts good, quality events."

Jimi Gbadamosi, Public Relations chair for TWESE, the Rutgers University organization for African students and friends of Africa, appreciated their commitment, "I like the fact that as young, African-American college students, we're able to come together and do something to support a cause rather then just spending money to go to a party in the student center.  Positive events like these speak volumes for our community."

Furthermore, as guest speakers Dorothy Reed and Lareatha Payne's words resonated with the audience, one could see why D.B.S.C.'s reputation of quality has been maintained. 

Dorothy Reed: Sisters Network Representative
Reed, a Sisters Network representative, works within her Central New Jersey network to bolster awareness in the African American community about the devastating impacts of Breast Cancer, while providing assistance to patients across the tri-state area.

"For 14 years we have educated the community, and we have educated ourselves...  A woman should not die because she does not have money for a mammogram."  

Affirming the importance of education, early detection, and prevention, Reed addressed the statistics regarding African-American women and Breast Cancer, and explained the ongoing solutions that Sisters Network is striving for.  

However, it was the humorous yet strong words that followed by Breast Cancer survivor Lareatha Payne that set the tone of hope and renewal for the remainder of the evening, "We always think of cancer as being a death sentence... Well, that was 16 years ago and I still look pretty good don't I?"

Payne spoke candidly about her experience and struggles, including a time in which she went "symptom free" for 7 years after her original Breast Cancer diagnosis, only to wake up one day feeling "off" and becoming informed that the cancer had spread.  

It was in that moment where Payne said she made a decision, in the face of death, "I decided that I was going to live... I was going to deal with this in a fighting, healing mode... I had to forgive, I was inspired by the story of Job and how after his affliction God held promise... I took on a tone of laughter." 

Her resilience reflected a courageous attitude few are capable of in the face of such adverse circumstances, but Payne noted how she was not alone in her fight. 
Egypt Pringley: D.B.S.C. Historian and Public Relations Chair

The Sisters Network provided her with the support she needed to overcome Breast Cancer.

Similarly, D.B.S.C. President Siobhan Barrington echoed these sentiments of sisterhood. 

"As the President I feel like I can only lead if I have a supportive army behind me, and that is exactly what I have, an army of strong women standing next to me making things happen..."

The future is bright for the well established Douglass Black Students Congress, and while Barrington is not exactly sure of what event might come next, she added with a smirk that whatever it may be, 

"These are all the sisters that I never asked for, but couldn't be any more proud to have."  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rutgers Students Stand thier Ground Against Social Injustice

Christopher Ettienne

It was the words "No justice, No peace" that echoed from protesting students in unison outside of the Rutgers University Student Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey early March 7, 2014. 

Influenced by the outcomes of recent "Stand your Ground" cases involving Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, students gathered together in protest for what they believed to be a large injustice taking place within America's judicial system.

Trayvon Martin, who was infamously shot and killed by George Zimmerman walking home on the evening of February 26th 2012 in Sanford, Florida, sparked the large amount of controversy and publicity surrounding the "Stand Your Ground" laws which Zimmerman used to justify his actions.  

Jordan Davis on the other hand, was a 17 year old African American male who was shot dead in his car by Michael Dunn after a Verbal confrontation about loud music.  Dunn was eventually convicted of three accounts of attempted second-degree murder.

Christopher Bradshaw, Treasurer of the Rutgers University Black Student Union (B.S.U.) helped orchestrate the event.
B.S.U., in correlation with other student organizations such as: Douglass Black Students' Congress (D.B.S.C.), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and Students for Justice in Palestine (S.J.P.).

Bradshaw stated the event reflects "social injustices in our criminal justice system... and how it disproportionately affects black and brown [individuals]". 

Jaimese Morris, representing the Douglass Black Students' Congress, attended the event for personal support and interest.  She said "As students and  minorities, we have to address these issues... This is happening to our young folk, it's happening to people around our age... When you look like the people that are being harmed it's up to you to make a difference."


Morris also plans to take strides in the future evoke positive change. She said, "I'm going into criminal justice and I'm going into law enforcement, I feel as though I should be the person who is going to be on the right side of justice."

Bradshaw offered similar sentiments, saying that students play an essential role in bringing about this change. He said "We are the next step in that leap, we are the people who are going to be educators and lawyers. So it's up to us to have a positive influence on social justice, social awareness and equality." 

Bradshaw concluded with the following: 

"We are all united in a struggle, it takes responsibility to accept that my problem is your problem, and even if it's not right now, it will be in the future".

  Special Thanks To Larry Hamm
Christopher Bradshaw also wanted to give a special thanks to Larry Hamm for helping him organize the event. Mr. Hamm is the Chairman of the "People’s Organization of Progress." 

Hamm has been a life time advocate for social justice. 

According to he was state director for the million man march, and has helped lead demonstrations in Newark high schools, Princeton University, and is a well known activist against urban violence, and police brutality. 

Hamm was scheduled to attend the event, but suffered injuries from a recent car accident. 

According to the "People’s Organization for Progress" he is now successfully en route to recovery. 

The N.A.B.J. Rutgers Chapter staff wishes Mr. Hamm the best, and we look forward to meeting him in the future. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

23rd Annual TWESE Fashion Show: "Black Excellence"

By: LaToya Dove

The 23rd Annual “Twese Fashion Show” held Saturday March 8, 2014 at Rutgers University’s Student Center attracted large crowds as students modeled lines from professional designers and showed off their modeling skills.

Twese, the Rutgers University student organization that represents itself as “the organization for African students and friends of Africa,” titled this year’s show “Black Excellence.”

Attendees came dressed to impress following the all black theme, as the lit runway lined the middle of the multi-purpose room and VIP members took their seats along the perimeter of the catwalk.

Up-and-coming host and entrepreneur Rodney Rikai Thomas hosted the show alongside Rutgers University alum Sasha Starr.  

“I love the fact that you guys have real fashion at your fashion shows….real couture pieces,” said Thomas. “It’s very similar to a New York fashion show in terms of the layout and where the VIP seating is.”

The show featured a dozen designers with styles ranging from casual to formal wear for both male and female models.

However, it was not just the layout and designer’s styles that proved to be authentic and diverse.

The fierce energy of the models immediately set a high bar for the show and continued throughout the night.

Although some of the models had years of experience, for others it was only their first or second time.

Thus, to prepare for the show, the models rehearsed several times a week.

“It was hectic at times but it turned out smooth,” said model, Ovie Enaohwo.

Lisa Green, also a model, found the rehearsal process to be “intense.” “We make it look good out there but behind the scenes it’s a lot of running around, pulling clothes off, and craziness… but it’s all about what we look like on stage.”

Of the 12 designers in the show, the crowd favorite was Marco Hall.

“I love him, I follow him on Instagram,” said audience member Tiyana Prince. “I really enjoy all of his work.”

Hall, based out of New York and New Jersey, has been a designer for over 20 years. “Being able to create and show people my growth,” is the favorite aspect of his profession.

His self-entitled line of elegant dresses and gowns visually challenged the audience yet remained crisp and classy.

Other highlights from the show included a performance by the Twese Dance Troupe, and a modeling competition for audience members. 

An overall success, Twese extends their tradition of “Black Excellence” in extraordinary fashion. (literally)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stand Your Ground Rally At Rutgers University Coverage: Ijoema Unachukwu

Writer: Ijeoma Unachukwu
Publisher: BVCL: (Black Voice Carta Latina)
Editor: Raymond Cheley  

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case, the Rutgers University Black Student Union (BSU), Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, NAACP, Liberty Gospel Choir, Latin American Women’s Organization, and Students For Justice in Palestine hosted  the "Stand Your Ground Rally" this Friday, March 7th, 2014.

Aimed to raise awareness regarding "Stand Your Ground" laws, BSU treasurer Christopher Bradsaw and public relations chair, Fawzan Lari took initiative in planning the event and taking action. 

Starting at 1:00 p.m., the Liberated Gospel Choir kicked off the protest singing the “Black National Anthem” and “There’s No Way." 

"These selections (were chosen) because they  were specifically applicable to the purpose of the rally." stated choir director Lashanda Coq. 

Passionate protesters made signs with messages such as: 

Informational pamphlets regarding the policy were also dispersed. 

Bradshaw, pictured above stated, “students are on the pipeline to becoming the elite." 

Overall, the group wanted to illustrate that this is not about black VS white, it is an issue of forgiveness leading to change; which can only be achieved through the mutual pursuit for social justice between all races, genders, and classes . 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

LisaMarie Segarra : Coverage!!! Check it out!


The beginning of the spring semester saw the return of the Rutgers chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, a campus organization that folded in 2009 after suffering from a lack of involvement.
The Rutgers University Student Assembly approved the NABJ chapter as an official organization in January. Since that point, the organization has been focused on achieving the prolonged success that the previous chapters lacked.
“They were going for a good year or two, and they’ve had spurts where they’ll go for a couple years,” said Justin Hockaday, Vice-President of the new chapter of NABJ. “What happens is they have all older kids that start it, and it’s going strong, but then when they graduated, they didn’t have enough younger kids, enough freshmen, enough sophomores to keep it going.”
Hockaday himself is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Media Studies and Spanish. As a major member of the editorial board, he hopes to continue the group after other founding members have graduated.
Christopher Etienne, a junior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies and Africana Studies, has taken on the role of revitalizing the organization as its new president after Kevin Ewell, assistant dean for student services at the School of Communication and Information, approached him with the idea.
Some of the goals Etienne has set include marketing the organization through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and helping the group’s members build journalism portfolios.
“The goal of our organization is just to give aspiring journalists somewhat of a field experience before they actually make that transition into their profession. The organization provides various different scholarships. There are a lot of networking opportunities,” Etienne said.
NABJ is offering the Allison E. Fisher Scholarship, the Carol Simpson Scholarship, a Visual Task Force Scholarship, and an NABJ Scholarship. They have also made deals with magazine like Hycide and Nexup Magazine, which are based out of Newark, New Jersey. The magazines will pass along assignments to the NABJ chapter and the group will select students based on merit to complete the task.
This fulfills one Etienne’s main goals for the organization: allowing students to gain work they can present to potential internships and employers.
Etienne has already published an article after working with Hycide Magazine.
“I want to show people the fun side of journalism. How going out and doing interviews can be fun and to get out there,” Etienne said.
With a Rutgers chapter of NABJ forming once again, the organization hopes to enable potential journalists of color to gain the experience needed to branch out into the field and help fill a minority gap in the newsroom.
A 2013 census conducted by the American Society of News Editors and the Center for Advanced Social Research looked at hiring practices at nearly 1,000 daily American newspapers in the U.S. The study found that about 4,700, or 12.37 percent, of 38,000 employees surveyed identify as racial minorities.
This number has remained stagnant in recent years, and a continuation of this trend would mean the ASNE would fall short of its projected 2025 goal to have the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide to reflect the percentage of minorities in the nation’s population. Minorities also make up just 20% of supervisors in the newsroom, according to the study.
The ASNE has also reported a steady decline in minorities at internships. At 26% in 2013, the statistic has dropped significantly from the nearly 40% level reached in the 1990s.
“I feel like there’s not another organization like this on campus which reaches out to journalists of color,” Hockaday said.
The group held its first official meeting Tuesday night in the Douglass Campus. Center.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The NABJ Promo Post!

Welcome to the News Room!
Come to our fist Official Meeting
Tuesday February, 25 9:00 PM!!!
DCC Meeting Room B
^^^Click Here^^^

Come to our fist Official Meeting
Tuesday February, 25 9:00 PM!!!
DCC Meeting Room B
^^^Click Here^^^

The NABJ , Rutgers Chapter is officially live on blogger and covering events outside of Rutgers University. This Student Organization that has been abandoned for years was recently brought back into fruition by a collective of Rutgers University Students. Welcome to the NABJ news feed here on where our team will cover events, and publish articles for the NABJ Rutgers Chapter.

The 2014 Harlem Arts Expo 
 In Correlation with NXUP Magazine, one of our primary contacts for press coverage, 
we were invited to the Harlem Arts Expo in New York City. We were able to shoot 
interviews with several up and coming artists at the show, some of which are given highlights in our 
2014 promotional video. The Harlem Arts Expo is only one of the many Venues NABJ will be invited to in the future. If you are a Journalism Major at Rutgers University, or if you are just interested in covering 
fine arts expos, please contact us. We look forward to the interaction. 

Hycide Magazine Golden Triangle Celebration

February 15, 2012

Writer: Christopher Etienne

Crowds and cameras spread throughout the Ajirah art center, in Newark NJ for Hycide Magazine's Second Annual Golden Triangle Celebration commemorating the magazine's second year anniversary.

Akintola Hanif, Editor in Chief of Hycide Magazine, was one of the honorary guests present for the occasion.

Hanif claims that the goal of his urban photography magazine is to show the broader aspects of his community while promoting the observation of urban lifestyles through a less biased, and stereotypical lens.

“I’m just trying to paint a well rounded picture that reflects the dichotomy and duality that exist within all people…I'm trying to hold up a mirror and get people to see the things that they ignore”

The white setup accompanied alongside captivating photography and artwork represented the urban style of Hycide Magazine.

Hanif also said, “I think that people need to look past stigmas and statistics... the only way we can see this is if you get to know people. You can't see that by...hearing it off the news stories... I just want people to see the similarities in strangers that they see in themselves"

Raymond Cheley, a fellow journalist and attendee at the art show stated, “When an event like this happens every one should be posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook, sharing and talking about it… if people know that this exists, they could generate some positive interest despite all of the negative connotations attached to inner-city areas like Newark.”

Mr. Cheley continued, signifying the importance of this event and magazine, “this is a magazine geared toward what people in society consider negative. A magazine that goes into the "slums," the "hoods," goes into the negative areas, and finds beauty there. The spirit of that message is at this show".

As the show came to a close Akintola Hanif and members of his team, The Golden Triangle, represented themselves as a refreshing group of photographers with a clear focus; to properly represent the misrepresented in today's society from areas such as India, Philadelphia, Newark, New York, etc. and to tell their stories through a professional artistic lens.