NNPA Wins Four Year Internal Voting Rights Civil Cases

In a definitive and consequential ruling, the Honorable Ebony Scott in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Civil Division, issued on May 10, 2023, a factual “Summary Judgment” in favor of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).
Today, in an official notice sent out to each member publisher of the NNPA, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr, President, and CEO of the NNPA, confirmed, “In the matters of Dorothy R. Leavell v. NNPA, Amelia Ashley-Ward v. NNPA, and Carol Geary v. NNPA, the courts in the District of Columbia have now ruled in favor of the NNPA.”
The NNPA is the national trade association of the Black Press of America representing over 240 African American owned newspapers and multimedia companies throughout the United States.
Chavis resoundingly attested, “Finally, after four years of extended and financially costly, frivolous lawsuits against the NNPA, we have good news for the NNPA upon winning these significant legal victories.”
Chavis concluded, “The NNPA will continue to work diligently to ensure that the voting rights of all our member publishers are protected from any future effort to subvert the overall interests of the membership of the NNPA.”
Leavell, Ashley-Ward, and Geary who are members of the NNPA disagreed with the outcome of the 2019 NNPA national elections and sued the NNPA in part to contest the results of the 2019 NNPA Board Elections.
In 2019, the membership of the NNPA duly elected Karen Carter Richards, publisher of the Houston Forward Times, as the new NNPA Chair.
Leavell was defeated by Richards for Chair of the NNPA.
“As much as I would like to say that I’m excited about this ruling I’m not [because] this should have never happened to our esteemed organization or the wonderful publishers who make up this important entity,” Richards stated.
“This entire ordeal has been a stain on this organization, led by three individuals who refused to accept the will of the qualified vote of our publishers.”
Richards continued:
“Not only did we have to fight through the COVID-19 pandemic and other changes in the market, but we also had to fight against the frivolous actions of three of our member publishers.
“Now, thankfully after four years, we can put this unjustified action behind us and move forward for the betterment of our organization and continue to do what’s right for the NNPA.”
During the past four years, however, the NNPA continued to make substantial progress even in the face of the continued civil litigation.
“We are pleased with the judge’s decision, and it’s been a long time coming,” NNPA General Counsel Attorney A. Scott Bolden stated.
“There was never any substance to the plaintiffs’ allegations. Unfortunately, it took four years and a lot of legal expenses to prove that there was nothing there.”
Bolden said Judge Scott also issued a separate order of sanctions – the second during the case – “for some of the conduct of the plaintiffs and their counsel. “
“This isn’t the first time the plaintiffs and their lawyers were sanctioned,” Bolden asserted. “It is fortunate that we were able to emerge victorious.”
Bolden said many lessons were learned about how the lawsuit was brought and how the plaintiffs and prior judges handled it.
“Going forward, we’re looking forward to working with NNPA members and the board members to prevent any future lawsuits against the organization by amending the NNPA Bylaws to ensure that any disputes will require mediation or arbitration,” Bolden said.
He said the two avenues are far less expensive than civil litigation.
Bolden also noted that Carole Geary, publisher of the Milwaukee Courier, lost her lawsuit against the NNPA in 2022, appealed the defeat, and lost again.
“Thanks to our outstanding legal team, our leadership, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, our president/CEO for pressing forward as we endured such an unfortunate and costly situation,” Richards added.
The NNPA is now preparing to celebrate the 196th Year Anniversary of the Black Press of America at its 2023 Annual National Convention in Nashville, TN, June 28-July 1, 2023.

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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 www.edwardsforhouston.com

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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