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By: N. L. Preston


The Houston Association of Black Journalists (HABJ) hosted its annual Scholarship and Fundraising Gala was held at the historic Eldorado Ball Room in Third Ward. The evening turned out to be a “Who’s Who” event, mixing media pioneers, up-and-comers and college students all under one roof as they celebrated accomplishments, then danced the night away comfortably while wearing their “flyest kicks” for the themed “Sneaker Ball.” HEB was title sponsor of the event, providing 12 students from across the Houston area with scholarships to help fund their educational endeavors.


James Harris, HEB’s Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, and nearly 20 more representatives from the company were in attendance, witnessing the impact their sponsorship dollars have on the youth. HABJ wanted to cast the net wide, reaching out to colleges across the Houston area to bring more students, who may not have even known HABJ was an available resource for development and mentorship. Students were selected from Alvin Community College, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College, Lamar University, North American University, Lee College and College of Biblical Studies.


Then there were the honorees. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was given a standing ovation and a warm send-off from the journalists of color, thanking him for eight years of service to the community. In addition, National Association of Black Journalists President Ken Lemon flew down to Houston to participated, with Lemon being awarded for his leadership. Tributes were also paid to other media and business powerhouses and rising stars, including Gene Dias of the Houston Astros, Radio One’s “Uncle Funky” Larry Jones, Fox 26’s Nate Griffin, Karen Jackson of Sisters Network Inc. and rising star Nawara Blue, a reality show producer with dozens of hit shows under her belt.


ABC 13 Chief Meteorologist David Tillman was surrounded by his family as he was honored by the organization. Anchors Melanie Lawson, Gina Gaston, and Erica Simon were just a few of the colleagues who proudly stood by his side. “David Tillman is the epitome of professional. He knows science like the back of his hand and is always accurate, always delivers with the right tone, and works hard to keep Houstonians safe,” said Simon. “As a Black meteorologist, he represents us well, and has for decades — from Jackson, Mississippi to Memphis to H-Town. What a lot of people don’t know is that he loves to storm chase and is a big basketball fan. He’s a joy to work with and be around. No one is more deserving of his flowers than him.”


In addition, African American News & Issues’ Roy and Shirley Malonson were also honored for their fearless advocacy of truth and justice in the community. “I know and love the Malonsons,” HABJ President Nakia Cooper said. “I have worked for them, learned from them, and appreciate them for making me see the world through a different lens. We all need a Mrs. and Mrs. Malonson in our life, and it was my honor and privilege to pour a little back of what they’ve always poured into me.” For more information, visit

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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