PRESSROOM: NABJ’s Call for Diversity at CNN Grows

Color of Change, NNPA, Alphas, Jesse Jackson Sr., Rep. Ayanna Pressley Join Call for Action

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association is in full support of equal and fair treatment of blacks in the media and stands solidly behind NABJ's efforts to diversify CNN.”
“The National Newspaper Publishers Association is in full support of equal and fair treatment of blacks in the media and stands solidly behind NABJ's efforts to diversify CNN.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Color of Change, a national online force driven by more than 1.4 million members, is joining the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) call for a civil rights audit at CNN and more black representation among its news leadership.

“When there’s more of us in the room fighting for our stories to be told, and raising awareness about the issues impacting our communities, we have an even better chance of creating change and ending the practices that unfairly hold us back,” said Color of Change in a statement released on Twitter. “We support @NABJ as they call for a civil rights audit and put pressure on @CNN President Jeff Zucker to make diversity and inclusion improvements at the network.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., with more than 120,000 members, has also joined the fight. In a statement released today, the organization said it “shares the concern of the National Association of Black Journalists about the lack of black representation within the ranks of CNN’s executive news managers and direct reports to CNN President Jeff Zucker. As an organization specifically concerned with the issues affecting the African-American community, we lend our voices to those who would encourage constructive dialogue regarding creating an inclusive workplace at CNN.”

One of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., also made comments on the issue on Twitter, stating, “@CNN Pres Zucker refused to meet w/a 4-person @NABJ delegation. There are no Af-Am direct reports. There are no Af-Am Exec Prods @CNN. There are no VPs on the news side. There are no Af-Am Sr VPs on the news side of @CNN. Do not crush the darkness. Fight back with shifting eyes.”

Also lending its voice on Twitter is the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), which is the trade association of more than 200 African-American-owned community newspapers from around the United States.

NNPA President Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr. tweeted: “NNPA supports the NABJ and NAACP #DiversityAndInclusion @CNN #EndRacism #MediaExclusion #RacialDiscrimination.”

NNPA’s Chairman and Chicago Crusader Publisher Dorothy Leavell, provided the following statement: “The National Newspaper Publishers Association is in full support of equal and fair treatment of blacks in the media and stands solidly behind NABJ’s efforts to diversify CNN.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) also has spoken out on NABJ’s efforts.

“The people of this country depend on our news organizations to deliver unbiased & fair reporting,” she said on Twitter to her nearly 60,000 followers. “That is impossible without equal representation. I stand behind @NABJ’s investigation into the lack of diversity within CNN’s leadership. #MediaDiversity.”

News organizations from around the world have reported on NABJ’s call for more diversity in CNN’s executive leadership. Thousands of social media users, including actress and comedian Marsha Warfield, economist and social commentator Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and spiritual leader and activist Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, have engaged in dialogue around NABJ’s call for CNN to prioritize diversity and inclusion.

In an NAACP statement released March 6 in support of NABJ, the organization underscored NABJ’s concerns: “CNN’s lack of black representation in leadership roles is troubling and another example of the media industry’s reluctance to address an issue that continues to plague newsrooms across the country.”

Read our March 5 statement here.

Read our March 7 statement here.

About NABJ 

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide. Founded by 44 men and women on December 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation.



  1. AIPAC is coming after AOC, Ilhan and Rashida

    AIPAC, a right-wing lobbying group that promotes unquestioned support of Israeli policy, is coming after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib all because they dared to question US foreign policy.

    Just a few days ago, a sitting Congressman claimed that “questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” But that should never be how our government operates — there should be honest discussions about the influence of powerful lobbying organizations. An AIPAC activist even suggested that these Justice Democrats might be primaried because of their positions:

    “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar are three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years.”

    This is why Justice Democrats fights for candidates that fight for justice, freedom and dignity for all people. Help us continue that effort and defend progressive candidates against these attacks with a $3 contribution today:


    Politicians should be able to question our government’s support of foreign occupations. Right-wing groups like AIPAC are aiming to divide Democrats through their own versions of ‘purity tests’ that promote injustice. From Saudi Arabia to Israel, and every nation in between, our lawmakers should be willing to have an honest discussion about our foreign policy.

    Powerful Democrats and Republicans alike are doing what they can to stop that conversation, and we need to fight back.

    In solidarity,

    Team JD

  2. I encourage anyone that has purchased stock in CNN to raise ten thousand dollars worth of hell for parity reflective of ownership. However, if you don’t have any ownership in CNN leave them the hell alone.

    Color of Change, shame on your 1.4 million followers and NABJ for requesting an audit of CNN. Take up a $100 offering and raise $140 million to create a newsroom greater than CNN and show them how it’s done.

    Tell your own story on your own platform. It’s embarrassing to think that our best minds are still demanding and often times begging folks to do right.

    If I OWN a house and I don’t ever invite you over for dinner, guess what? If you come to the door of the house I OWN and I don’t answer or allow you to come in, guess what? Eat at your own house. You might find out that your food is good also.

    This matter is not a problem, its an opportunity. Seize the moment Black people, you can do it. You’re smart enough, creative enough, determined enough. Change the paradigm without asking for anyone’s permission. But simply because you are bold and bad enough.

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