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MY TRUTH: Visionary Leadership Wins

Dr. Ben Chavis

It was an exciting time at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) annual convention in New Orleans in late June, under the direction of NNPA President Dr. Ben Chavis.

Now who doesn’t love to visit New Orleans?

Well, in addition to outstanding programming, an opportunity to hear some wonderful messages from dynamic speakers, a wonderful performance from Stephanie Mills and an opportunity to see my classmate, Bobby R. Henry of the Westside Gazette, receive Lifetime Achievement honors.

Bobby and I took many of the same journalism classes at Florida A&M University, and decades later we are still friends and working together; us both publishers.

Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III

I celebrated his achievements that night and just the night before he celebrated as Texas Metro News walked away with four awards: Third in Newsletter Excellence; Second for Facebook Campaign Award and Robert S. Abbott Editorial & Opinion Award; and First Place for Carl Murphy Community Service Award.

Texas Metro News placed Third in Newsletter Excellence; second for Facebook Campaign Award and Robert S. Abbott Editorial & Opinion Award; and First Place for Carl Murphy Community Service Award.

Which brings me to my truth.

Last Fall, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church announced that for the next 100 days, there would be an effort to increase awareness of and support for Black-owned businesses.

Bobby Henry S r.

I immediately reached out to him and told him it was a great idea and I would support by featuring a Black business every day in the Metro Newsletter and subsequently on the pages of all I Messenger Media publications.

So for the next 100 days, we showcased Black businesses and it was so rewarding that we decided to continue in perpetuity.

We don’t alert the businesses or ask for anything, we just showcase them and hope that our readers will support them and that would make us feel great.

Winning an award for community engagement is icing on the cake.

So we say a big thanks to those who support Black businesses and an even bigger one to Pastor Haynes for his support and visionary leadership.

That’s what we need more of in the world and I am fortunate to see it in and know three visionary leaders: Dr. Chavis, Bobby Henry Sr. and Dr. Haynes.

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