NNPA Kicks off Midwinter Training Conference by Tackling the Challenges of COVID-19


Among the NNPA Midwinter Training Conference partners are General Motors, Pfizer Rare Disease, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Reynolds American (RAI).

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted every aspect of Americans’ lives — and people all over the world.

However, the impact on African Americans’ health, education, work, and business lives has been disproportionately severe.

The pandemic has also changed the way that the world conducts business.

This year’s National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Midwinter Training Conference will feature workshops, webinars, and information to help Black Press members manage their business more effectively.

The conference’s theme is “Black Press of America: Challenges, Responsibilities, and Opportunities Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Open to the public at no charge, the two-day virtual conference kicks off on Thursday, January 28, with greetings from NNPA Chair and Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards. Terry Jones, publisher of Data News Weekly in New Orleans and the NNPA Convention Planning Committee Chair, will follow Carter Richards with remarks.

Pluria Marshall Jr., the NNPA Fund Chair and Publisher of The Wave Community Newspapers in California, and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., the NNPA’s president and CEO, also will provide opening comments.

A visual exhibition of NNPA member newspapers will follow the opening remarks, and Dr. Chavis, Chair Richards, and others will acknowledge conference partners and sponsors.

Among the NNPA Midwinter Training Conference partners are General MotorsPfizer Rare Disease, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Reynolds American (RAI).

The conference sponsors include AARPWells FargoAmerican Petroleum Institute (API)FacebookZillowNissanUAW, and Zenger News.

At 11:18 a.m. on Thursday, Wells Fargo will present an informative session on “How to Adapt and Rebuild Your Small Business During COVID-19.”

Andre Jones, the Small Business Strategy and Development Officer, and Camille N. Simpkins, the Business Development Officer of Greater Philadelphia and National Small Business Development, will serve as presenters for Wells Fargo.

Following the banking giant’s presentation, Dr. Leandris Liburd, the associated director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will offer a special address to the Black Press of America on the topic, “COVID-19 Pandemic and Black America.”

General Motors and AARP will follow that address with messages to the 230-plus member NNPA.

A one-hour training workshop begins at 11:45 a.m., titled “Overview of 2021 and the National Advertising Market Demands in the United States: The Trends Toward Digital Advertising.”

Michael R. Grant, the founder of “Get Current Studio,” an African American owned digital design and strategic technology development business in Menlo Park, Calif., will serve as a presenter.

Grant currently is a teacher and training “Fellow” for the Google News Lab.

A virtual lunch break follows before Nissan and Facebook provide messages to the NNPA.

The first day also includes Training Workshop B, “The Benefits of Participating in the NNPA Digital Network and the Fundamentals of Digital Advertising.” Norman Rich, the NNPA digital network administrator, and developer, will host the session.

Following a re-acknowledgment of partners and sponsors, an evening of entertainment will commence at 7 p.m.

Day two begins at 11:05 a.m. with a message from API.  A one hour “Training Workshop C” commences at 11:10 a.m., titled “Digital Transformation Revenue Generation: The Washington Post Case Study.”

The Washington Post’s digital staff will serve as presenters.

Pfizer Rare Disease will then address the NNPA with a presentation titled, “Heart Disease and Black America.”

NBA legend and former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks Coach Don Chaney will serve as the Pfizer presenter.

Following a virtual lunch break, a special session public education video on distance learning, presented by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NNPA Education Public Awareness Program, will occur.

At 1:36 p.m. Friday, “Training Workshop D Sales Team Training for Local and National Digital Ad Buy Sales,” will be presented by NNPA Advertising Director Ron Burke, Los Angeles Sentinel Editor Brandon Brooks, and Real Times Media.

Wells Fargo and Zillow plan to follow that session with messages and presentations to the NNPA.

Closing acknowledgments of conference partners and sponsors are scheduled at 2:45 p.m., followed by remarks from NNPA’s president and the conference planning committee chair.

The conference concludes with entertainment, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Registration is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.virtualnnpa2021.com.

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