headshot-johnson   Barbara and Tyree Johnson, Westside Weekly newspaper owners, are recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award. The husband and wife team turned an idea about a West Philadelphia newspaper into a voice of the community that is rooted in journalistic integrity. Tyree is a charter member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and Barbara, who is receiving the award posthumously, was one of its earliest supporters.
 headshot-ballen   Sofiya Ballin, a reporter with the Philadelphia Media Network (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com) will receive the 2017 Online Journalist of the Year Award. Her “Black History Untold” series offered a view of what many African Americans learned about African American history outside of the classroom. Her powerful stories, told through the voices of African Americans, explored the kinds of valuable information about African Americans that was not covered in textbooks and other traditional academic teachings.
 headshot-reese   Sara Lomax-Reese, President and CEO of WURD Radio, will receive the Trailblazer Award for her pioneering work creating HealthQuest Magazine which explored health issues that impact Black people and in growing the state’s only African-American-owned talk-radio station, WURD Radio, ensuring Black people have an outlet for expressing concerns about issues that are important to Black people.
 headshot-whack   Errin Haines Whack, urban affairs reporter for the Associated Press, is the 2017 PABJ Print Journalist of the Year. As Urban Affairs reporter, she tackled stories that impact Black people from angles that are often not explored in majority media. Her work has focused on the intersection of race, politics and culture as well as other issues of importance to African Americans.

 headshot-fernandez   Lois and Oshunbumi “Bumi” Fernandez are being honored with a PABJ Community Service Award for their work with the ODUNDE Festival, which celebrates African culture and legacy through song, art and food. 40-years ago, the late Lois Fernandez began the family oriented street fair. Her daughter Bumi worked with her mom through the years, and as Odunde CEO, has created year-round programming called Odunde365.
 headshot-clark   Sandra Clark, Vice President for News and Civic Dialogue at WHYY, will receive the Impact Award. A longtime champion of diversity, she believes all of our lives are enriched when we have access to different voices. It’s a philosophy that is reflected in her hiring, and mentoring of ethnic journalists.
 headshot-thomas   Aundrea Cline-Thomas, a reporter for NBC10 Philadelphia, is receiving the 2017 Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award. Aundrea is a reporter whose stories focus on issues that push beyond commonly covered headlines to discover and share textured stories that reflect and impact people in Black Communities.
 headshot-brown   Haniyyah Sharpe-Brown is Communications Manager for Philadelphia City Councilwoman At-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown and founder of On Point Communications. She is receiving the 2017 Media Professional Award for public relations and community work that helps her clients craft campaigns to have a positive and empowering impact on Black people, while promoting their product or service.
Award Criteria
1. Community Service 4. Journalist of the Year
2. Trailblazer 5. Impact Award
3. Lifetime Achievement 6. Media Professional


Community Service

Awarded to a journalist, member of the media or community person who has had a positive impact on African Americans or Black people of African descent. If the nominee is a journalist, his or her community service must be rooted in work done outside the typical realm of journalism.


Awarded to a pioneer Black journalist of extraordinary accomplishment who has broken barriers or blazed trails. Nominees may be living or deceased and have contributed to the advancement of news coverage of issues involving African Americans or Black people of African descent.

Lifetime Achievement

Awarded to a Black print, broadcast, online or photojournalist with a minimum of 15 years in the industry. Nominees in the category may be living or deceased. The nominees must have made or still be making an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding, or advancement of news coverage involving Black life and culture.

Journalist of the Year

Honoree(s) are to be selected from the broadcast, print and/or online fields, at the discretion of the awards committee and executive board. Awarded to a Black journalist who produced work during the 2016 calendar year that was extraordinary in depth, scope or significance to African Americans or Black people of African descent.


Awarded to a person behind the scenes whose support positively impacts diversity in newsrooms
or whose work positively impacts coverage affecting African Americans or Black people of African descent.

Media Professional

Awarded to a public relations, advertising, marketing, communications professional or media owner whose work facilitates significant coverage of people, issues and events affecting African Americans or Black people of African descent. The candidate must demonstrate overall excellence in media.