12.12.2009

Photo Highlights: Speaking engagement at Sam Houston State focuses on media coverage of HIV/AIDS in the Black community

(Shannon Dillon shares her thoughts on a question during the panel discussion)

by Jesse Muhammad

On December 2, my family and I headed up 45 North freeway to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. You know you're getting closer when you see a huge white statue of the late Sam Houston. You know you're even closer when you look to your right and see the Huntsville prison complex aka the death chamber capitol of the world.

But this blog is not about that.

I was invited by Jasmond Hatch, president of the Sam Houston Association of Black Journalists, to be a panelist for a discussion on HIV/AIDS. Panelists also included Shannon Dillon, an anchor for KBTX Media in Bryan, Texas along with media expert Sean Nixon. The discussion was centered around the role of Black media in educating the community about HIV/AIDS in light of December being AIDS Awareness Month.

(Jasmond Hatch (L) and another member of the SHSU Black Journalist Association)

But we covered alot of topics beyond HIV/AIDS. We touched on crime, education, economics, reporting strategies, how to write impactful news stores and more. These students shared their personal challenges in meeting deadlines in their classes but resonated enthusiasm about their majors. They love the work! Many of them have entrepreneurial aspirations too. I was very impressed with their outlook on issues that specifically impact the Black community.

(Intense dialogue at Sam Houston State University)

Jasmond Hatch, who is also a PR consultant, moderated the discussion. This is the next wave of Black journalists so the drive to Huntsville was definitely worth it. The group is planning to host a media conference in the Spring. I will offer my assistance wherever I am needed. Much success to these upcoming media giants at Sam Houston.

(Panelists (Left to Right) Me, Sean Nixon and Shannon Dillon)

(Sam Houston students sharing a laugh)

(Panelists and some of the members of the Sam Houston State Black Journalists Assoc.)

(A student speaks on serious issues facing the Black community)

(Panelist Sean Nixon)

(A student who spoke on how she overcame personal struggles as a young girl)

(Student speaking on the how to overcome the cycle of the same issues in our community)

(Left to Right: Sean Nixon, Jasmond Hatch, Shannon Dillon, Me)

All Photos by Shareefah Muhammad