Publisher of the Houston Forward Times

Karen Carter Richards National Newspaper PUblishers Association Chairman of the Board and Publisher of the Houston Forward Times

To our esteemed publishers, staff, guests and volunteers, I want to welcome the Publishers, Sponsors and Online Viewers to the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) first-ever, Virtual 2020 Annual Convention. The NNPA Planning Committee has worked tirelessly to put together this unique Annual Convention, with “TRUST, HOPE AND RESILIENCE: Overcoming COVID-19” as this year’s theme.

This year’s NNPA Annual Convention is definitely not the type of convention we initially planned. However, we know how important it is to provide the Publishers of our esteemed organization an avenue to be uplifted and encouraged while dealing with one of the most dangerous pandemics in the history of this country – known to us as COVID-19.

African Americans, including many of our Publishers, their staff and our readers, have been hit hard by COVID-19. Many of our Sponsors and Partners have also been severely impacted.

Not only are we dealing with COVID-19, we are also having to deal with having to report stories about the continual murders of Black people all across this country.

The killing of George Floyd on video has rocked this nation in a way that has further solidified the importance of why the Black Press of America is needed, now, more than ever.

The Black Press of America remains resilient in the midst of these challenges, and I believe there are great opportunities that lie ahead for all of us after COVID-19 and as we deal with our current racial climate. Continuing on with this Convention was a MUST, and it is CRITICAL to ensure our NNPA Publishers receive the necessary information and resources they need to successfully navigate in the midst of these troubling times.

This year, we are excited to celebrate 80 years of this powerhouse of an organization, the National Newspaper Publishers Association. We must continue to build upon our strong foundation by educating, equipping and empowering our Publishers, while making them stronger as we march towards celebrating 100 years as an organization and more. The world is getting to know the Black Press of America through digital capabilities. As part of this Virtual Convention, we will discuss different ways in which we as Publishers, and as an organization, can solidify a brighter future for the Black Press.

All in all, these are some challenging times for our industry and for our country, but it is imperative that all of us realize the important role we, the Black Press of America, must play during this pivotal moment in history. This country needs US!!!

Being that this is our first-ever Virtual NNPA Convention, I want you to engage and provide us with the necessary and relevant feedback we need to get better.

Enjoy the Convention! God Bless you and God Bless the NNPA!

Onward and Upward,

Karen Carter Richards