By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
The National Newspaper Publishers Association has been named the 2017 Organization of the Year at the annual Driven Awards.
Sponsored by Real Times Media, the “Driven” awards ceremony has evolved into a major national event in the automobile industry, coinciding with the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Held for the seventh time this year, “Driven” celebrates diversity within the automobile industry and recognizes the men and women of color, who are making significant contributions and achieving high levels of professional success in their respective automotive-related fields.
The event titled, “Driven in Living Color: Celebrating Multicultural Achievement in the Automotive Industry,” the awards also celebrate the contributions and success stories with African-American content that readers have come to expect, organizers said.
“A key component of the ‘Driven’ experience is to not only recognize those who are directly engaged in the auto industry, but to also celebrate the individuals and organizations who advance the industry by representing the interests of multicultural audiences,” said Hiram E. Jackson, the chief executive officer of Real Times Media, a multimedia company focused on urban news and entertainment, which includes the nation’s largest African-American-owned newspaper and digital media operation.
“The individuals and organizations selected to receive ‘Driven’ awards are innovators, connectors, and advocates for diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the automobile industry,” Jackson said. “The NNPA was selected to receive the ‘Driven’ Organization of the Year award, because of its tireless efforts to establish and maintain equitable and sustainable relationships between the auto industry and not only the Black Press, but with the African-American community at large.”
Led by president and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the NNPA is comprised of 211 African-American-owned newspapers across the United States and the Virgin Islands with a combined weekly readership of more than 20 million.
The news organization also maintains a newswire service, provides editorial content to all of its member newspapers.
“I am pleased, to say the least, to accept the Organization of the Year award,” Chavis said. “As the objective, unflinching media voice of Black America, NNPA newspapers, the NNPA Newswire and the companion site, BlackPressUSA.com, we represent one of the most important newsgathering and news analysis operations in the world.”
The ‘Driven’ experience was launched in 2011 to pay homage to African-American men and women who blazed a trail and helped to shape the auto industry today, said Tanisha Leonard, vice president at Real Times Media.
“Through their publication, Real Times Media chronicled the interesting personalities, living legends, and game changers who have made significant contributions to the industry throughout the years. After three very successful years, ‘Driven’ was expanded beyond its original focus to include the success stories of multicultural professionals from diverse ethnicities,” Leonard said.
With no signs of slowing down, “Driven” has become more than just a publication, Leonard said, it is an experience that is revered across the automotive industry and one of the must-attend, multicultural events occurring during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit each year.