Beloved Navy Pier Closes

By Brooklyn Young

(JAC 210 assignment for Prof. Waltz)

After losing $20 million since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chicago Navy Pier closed its doors on Labor Day. The beloved lakefront attraction, created in 1959, normally has nearly 9 million visitors per year.

The Pier is facing a staggering 20% decrease in visitors. The financial burden that the Pier and over 70 businesses there are facing is striking, as a result of these numbers.

"My students love the Shakespeare Theater. I am in just disbelief to see that I will not get to expose them to my favorite theater in Chicago. This is pretty selfish, but I hope that this will lead to a stronger comeback for the Pier," said CPS teacher, Sloan Greco.

During the beginning of the pandemic, Navy Pier closed their doors from March 16 through June 10. Getting their numbers back since then has been the biggest challenge. Enacting safety measures and having their numbers up to par was a tough battle. Only certain parts of the Pier have been re-opened, causing more visitors to stay away.

Travel restrictions have also reduced the number of visitors, who make up 40% of clientele.

Navy Pier holds more than 50-acres of land, with numerous restaurants, the infamous Centennial Wheel, Chicago's Children's Museum, Shakespeare Theater, Winter Wonderland, ice skating, water taxi rides, tour boats, shops, cruises, and more adventures. Navy Pier is a treasured attraction to so many Chicago natives and visitors.

Navy Pier also hosts festivals, movie nights on the lawn, seasonal celebrations, signature events, and provides a place for 2,000+ artists and over 80 cultural partners. They also host special events like weddings. The true harlequin of attractions is the "Raq."

In an attempt to keep these businesses going, the Pier has also provided rent-relief resulting in more revenue losses for the nonprofit, which depends solely on support from financial contributors, since 2011.

"Well, we have been through this once before and we have prepared for it as much as possible, but it will be hard. Most of our traffic comes through the Pier," said Odyssey Boat Cruise team member, Jasmine Bundy.

While this crew is trying to stay afloat, I Dream of Falafel (IDOF) restaurant manager is also adjusting to the transition, helping get their other businesses up and running.

"Though we have multiple locations, our primary business is [at the Pier]. We hope this is not permanent." said IDOF manager, Jill Schmidt.

Navy Pier is the most visited attraction in Illinois, there is hope for a reopening in Spring 2021,

The Pier is still accepting donations starting at $25 on the Navy Pier website, via mail or through stock for free programs and in support to local artists and organizations.

HU professor creates space for discussion during pandemic and racial injustice

By: Ciara White-Sparks

(JAC 310 assignment for Prof. Waltz)

Hampton University professor April Woodard created a new livestream show this summer for her followers on Facebook to provide an outlet for entertainment and serious conversation during COVID-19.

With diverse weekly topics from racial unrest to the art of expression, the show included national celebrities like comedian Marlon Wayans and local activists like Professor Earl Caldwell, an icon during the Civil Rights movement.

The show streamed every Thursday at 5 p.m. EST and ran from June to early August. In the span of twelve weeks, ten shows were produced.

The third episode, called "Race and Unrest," caught the attention of HULU employees who hired Woodard to give a diversity workshop for their employees covering topics of diversity in the workplace and creating a place of inclusivity for employees within the company.

Woodard knew she wanted to create something that would allow deep conversations in the midst of the pandemic, by calling the series "Conversations in Chaos."

"I was initially inspired by my own personal experience, but as I continued to watch the news and consume more media I began to wonder, what outlets have been put into place to discuss what is happening around us," said Woodard.

This summer America experienced widespread hardship from violence, social distancing, unemployment, mental health, virtual learning, and police brutality, with the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaad Aubrey.

Episodes like, "Law and Disorder" and "Back to School" opened a dialogue with viewers to discuss the ongoing issues that many American's yearned to talk about.

The Back-to-School segment featured current preschool teacher, Alexandra Nassar and Dr. Portia Rawles, a Psychologist to discuss how teachers and students are coping with this virtual learning environment.

"This new normal is hard for all of us, and now transitioning into starting back this upcoming August, certain states are proposing that we hold both in-person classes and virtual sessions, which poses the risk of infection amongst students," said Nassar during the livestream.

While other episodes like, "Mental Health in Mayhem" with America's psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere tackled the reality of mentally coping with the pandemic and how to properly heal during these times.

"The pandemic has had many iterations and consequences and mental health has to be the biggest one of them all. COVID-19 has shifted the psychological state of people across the world and effected their livelihoods," Gardere said.

Although the show's main focus was current national issues, Woodard also featured lighter topics of creativity and film.

One episode included Sekou Writes, a producer and writer who has released two projects based on his experiences during quarantine.

Audience members responded to his vision and passion for creating a film about how COVID-19 forces people to "mask" themselves during a pandemic.

"We are taking off the COVID mask and figurative mask. I wanted to capture the raw reactions of people and how they felt being in this climate and be forced to endure various hardships while wearing a "mask," said Writes during the livestream.

Episode seven featured actor and content creator Zeus Campbell, who spoke on the importance of storytelling in this virtual climate.

The episode displayed his personal projects and a "call to action" for the younger generation to tell their individual stories during this time.

"Young people have such a unique and innovative mindset, and now more than ever we need young storytellers to in this industry. Their ability to create stories is beyond imagination, so why not let your stories be heard," Campbell said.

When developing the show topics and selecting panelists, Woodard prioritized her a younger audience. She invited student journalists to intern and help develop, create, and gain hands-on experience in virtual production.

"As a Professor, I urge my students to walk away from their internships with a reel, press decks and something that they can use for their portfolio. That is how I structure my internships with that main focus in mind and now my students know how to produce a live stream show," Woodard said.

Student interns were given the opportunity to book, produce, write, and edit content for the show, give ideas, suggestions, and content concepts.

In a time with cancelled internships and low employment opportunities, three Hampton University students were able to gain hands-on work to help build their career portfolios.

"I was excited to be offered the opportunity to work alongside an individual in the media industry on a project that would give me experience into what skills I should sharpen to be competitive once I graduate--especially during a pandemic where others weren't so fortunate to be as active," said summer intern Lauryn Bass.

Although Woodard invited many high-profile guests to her show, she was confident that her summer interns would remain professional and produce quality work.

One student intern called the summer "unforgettable," describing booking guests and late-night editing as skills that will transfer into future careers, she said.

"I took a risk, and it was well worth it. Each student went above and beyond to provide quality content and represented very well. I was happy in my selection and proud of the work that they did during the course of the show," Woodard said.

When famous comedian Marlon Wayans aired his episode, the show had over 1,000 views on Facebook, the largest turnout of the season.

The smallest streams were in the 150 - 200 range, including the Art of Expression panel with Professional Dancer, Tashara Gavin-Moorehead and Producer Sekou Writes.

When deciding which platform to use, Woodard believed that streaming over Facebook Live would be the most effective, since she already had a large following there and the platform lets the audience comment live.

The streaming platform also allowed the show to be automatically uploaded to YouTube, letting viewers revisit episodes and expanding the conversations to more people online.

Conversations in Chaos produced episodes that provided households with various topics and issues to discuss. Woodard knew that creating this show would generate a buzz and have a powerful impact on those in her general following.

"This show really expanded beyond my circle of people, even taking the conversation to HULU was an honor in itself," Woodard said. "These segments were timely issues and deserved to be discussed, especially during these difficult times."

African American History Matters, Now Offered in Virginia Public Schools

By Jordan Sheppard

(JAC 310 assignment for Prof. Waltz)

Starting this fall, high school students in Prince William County in Virginia can take a new elective course to learn more about African American history.

"Black history is American history, but for too long the story we have told was insufficient and inadequate," said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in a press release. "The introduction of this groundbreaking course is a first step toward our shared goal of ensuring all Virginia students have a fuller, more accurate understanding of our history, and can draw important connections from those past events to our present day.

Northam announced the course last month, after working with the Virginia African American History Education Commission revising the state's curriculum to include more African American history. Since August of 2019, the Virginia Department of Education, Virtual Virginia and WHRO Public Media have teamed up with history professors, teachers, and historians to create the course, which will be offered in 16 school districts.

They include the counties of Prince William, Alleghany, Amherst, Arlington, Carroll, Chesterfield, Covington, Franklin, Henrico, Henry, Loudon, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Winchester.

Beginning with pre-colonial Africa, the course will cover the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, and other events to the present day.

"As a Black woman, an African American history class is not just a class, it is a guide to help you move through life," said Ayele Aziaba, a former Unity Reed High School student. "Had I been educated in school about my ancestors and their struggles and achievements, that would have given me a great insight, but I had to learn most of what I know now through experiences as a black woman."

Students will not be required to take the course, a controversial aspect.

"It should be a required class so students will understand how important African Americans are to this country, a country which we built," said Vera Bordoh-Ansah, a former Unity Reed High School student. "By it being optional, only those interested will take this class and our history should not be something you want to learn, but something that you need to learn."

The course comes at a time of increased interest in Black history. Black Lives Matter protests across the country have encouraged conversations about race in America.

"I think what is going on right now played a factor in why we have this course," said Verita Bordoh-Ansah, a former Unity Reed High School student. "The protests are forcing people to acknowledge and open their eyes to what is really going on in this county."

To some, a course on African American history is one that has been long overdue.

"This is a good start, but classes on African American history should have been in the curriculum a while ago," said Maiyah Rawls, first-year student at Unity Reed High School.

After taking the course students should be able to:

  • Identify and understand African origins and developments of the Black experience in North America.
  • Evaluate how African Americans have shaped, contributed to and have been shaped by the institutions, policies, and laws established by federal, state, and local governments.
  • Evaluate and interpret the various paths of civic responsibility that led to quests for equality, justice, and freedom for individuals and communities facing barriers and oppression based on race, class, and gender.
  • Analyze and understand how the institution of slavery in the United States shaped beliefs about race and the supremacy of one race over another and influences America's economy and politics.

Some believe the course should be expanded.

"We have to consider that most history courses in school systems fall under "social studies", an extremely broad term," said Kendall Willis, junior at University of Virginia and former Unity Reed High School student. "It would be more beneficial to not just teach the history but to explore the social science perspectives in African American history."

At the end of the course, each student will be required to complete a capstone project based on independent research about African American history.

"Without the arms, legs, blood, sweat and tears of the African American man and woman, there would be no architecture, infrastructure or strong standing economy," said Verita Bordah-Ansah. "African Americans were essential in making the foundation of this country."

Money Hungry

By Kennedy P. Buck, a student in Professor Waltz's class

Top business news outlets such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, and Financial Times have recognized the need for more diversity in their newsrooms after recent racial upset within the country and a president who has sought to divide the country along racial lines.

Only seven in 100 newsroom employees are black, according to the Pew Research Center, making it likely that even fewer African Americans are covering business news, despite growing economic inequality in the country based on race.

"We as an industry need more," said Jared Council, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "I became the Indianapolis Business Journal's first Black reporter back in 2014. It's a shame that that's still happening in the 21st century, especially when race is such an important and consequential topic."

This summer, the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists held their first virtual convention, including breakout sessions for students and aspiring journalists to explore different aspects of journalism. Business news organizations were there to recruit African American students.

"We need minority editors and writers who not only understand the nuances of covering race," Council said. "But we also need them to understand the nuances of managing minority employees especially within business journalism."

The absence of Black business reporters is so glaring that freelance journalist Christopher Nelson, wrote an article called Where Are the Journalists of Color Covering the Business Beat?

"I attended the Society of American Business editors and Writers conference and one thing that struck me while there was the lack of people of color at the conference," Nelson said. At Hampton University and other HBCUs, African American students are being encouraged to specialize in business journalism, one of the most stable parts of the industry.

"Students don't look into business journalism because they don't know what they don't know. Students see stocks and become scared of the concept," said Edward "Butch" Maier, a business journalism professor at Hampton University. "What they don't realize is money makes the world go round, so there is always going to be a need for business journalism."

Maier, who is white, fell in love with business journalism when he began his job at Inside Business. He worked there for over 2 years, eventually becoming Editor-In-Chief. In 2017, Maier was offered a job as a professor at Hampton University and became assistant dean in 2019.

Maier wants to share his experiences with young black talent.

"I became drawn to business journalism because it was an opportunity," Maier said

Now, he helps students write and create stories that interest them and teaches them how to put a business aspect into every story they write. Maier also helps students get jobs at Bloomberg, one of the top business and data analysis news outlets in the world.

"At Bloomberg, diversity and inclusion are an intrinsic part of who we are," said founder of Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg. "We strive for excellence in everything we do, so naturally we strive for excellence on diversity and inclusion."

Maier hopes to see more representation not just within newsrooms covering business journalism, but within the managing and editor positions as well.

"I teach my students that money and numbers are everywhere," Maier said. "If you like sports, how much money is your team bringing in? if you like fashion, how is your favorite clothing line doing in sales?" That all sounds good to Black business reporters who have already been hired.

"There needs to be more people who look like me covering business news," said Amber Burton, who began her career after graduating from Wake Forest University as a field reporter at The Wall Street Journal. "There are many times when I'm the only Black woman in the room," Burton said. "And I want to see more."

Crown Act could make natural hair discrimination illegal in American public schools and workplaces

By Amarah Ennis

(JAC 210 class assignment using martini-glass organization formula. Family interviews approved by professor)

Afrikka Ennis has worked many jobs in her 45 years of living, from the drive-through of McDonald's to the offices of the Department of Defense. For much of her life, she kept her hair relaxed and straight.

"That's what my mom did to me when I was a child, and so I just kept doing it. I didn't have any knowledge of how to do my hair any other way," Ennis said.

In 2014, Ennis contracted breast cancer, and chemotherapy robbed her of all her hair. When it grew back, it was as soft as a baby's and relaxer-free. She had her natural curls back, and just in time for the natural hair movement to start gaining steam again. Since regrowing her hair, she's preferred protective styles like twists and Bantu knots for the workplace.

Because Ennis works for the federal government, she has yet to encounter any discrimination against her for her natural hair. However, not every African American is lucky enough to be in environments with the same standards of acceptance.

That's why the Crown Act, which successfully passed in the House on September 21 and now rests in the Senate, is so important. The bill, if passed into law, could make natural hair discrimination illegal in American public schools and workplaces.

Black people across the nation recall the stories of Andrew Johnson, DeAndre Arnold, and Kaden Bradford. Johnson was a high school wrestler who, in April 2019, was told either to get rid of his dreadlocks or forfeit a match; the video of a white athletic trainer cutting off his locs quickly went viral. DeAndre Arnold and his cousin, Kaden Bradford, were seniors at a Texas high school and on track for graduation. Both were suspended and barred from walking because they refused to cut their locks.

In addition, a study conducted by Dove on Black hair discrimination revealed that 80 percent of Black women reported having to change their hair for the workplace. They also found that Black women were 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair.

In 2019, four organizations came together to found the CROWN Coalition: the National Urban League, Color of Change, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and Dove. CROWN is an acronym for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair". Their mission is to "create a world where Black lives are valued, respected and free of oppressive systems."

The CROWN Coalition created the Crown Act in the same year, a piece of legislation which aims to outlaw school and workplace discrimination based on hair texture or style. These laws would protect black people (especially women) from having to compromise their health, culture, and individuality to keep a job or get an education.

Initially, the Crown Act was passed by only seven states: California, Colorado, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington. Virginia was the fourth state to do so, back in March.

However, the act is now on the national table, and the House's approval is a huge step towards creating more Black-inclusive spaces. On the day of the bill's passing, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted a message of success.

"For far too long, Black women have been penalized for simply existing as themselves--that ends today."

The Crown Act could also mean a shift in the way we evaluate all discrimination under the law.

Currently, discrimination lawsuits must show proof of bias over traits people can't change. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals co-signed this interpretation in 2010, during the EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions case.

In that case, Alabama woman Chastity Jones attended a job interview with her hair in short locs. Her interviewer told her that her hair violated the company's grooming policy, and rescinded their job offer after she refused to cut it. The court sided with the company, stating that because hair can be changed, it can't be discriminated against.

However, the Crown Act supports the CROWN Coalition's interpretation of race as a social construct, one that is also defined by cultural practices like protective hairstyles. This could open avenues for different races to pursue discrimination lawsuits for their cultural practices (for example, traditional tattooing for various Native American cultures).

The enactment of the Crown Act would allow African Americans to have the same rights as white people do: to wear their hair naturally at work and school and not be penalized for it.

Afrikka Ennis may never have dealt with hair discrimination problems herself, but she fully supports the Crown Act for a very simple reason.

"Hair has nothing to do with how good of an employee you are. I don't think that people should be discriminated against at their jobs for anything other than pure work performance."

The City Calls It Revitalization. The Community Calls It Something Else.

Produced for Prof. Waltz's JAC 310 class by our current Pulitzer Fellow Sara Avery

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A bright red door and dark blue shutters accent the childhood home of Keith McKoy. The home sits in Southeast Raleigh, often described as the "Black side" of the city. When his mother moved out in 2004, the house was worth $60,000. Now, it's worth $269,000.

McKoy's home isn't the only one in the neighborhood to jump sharply in value. The reason is Raleigh's revitalization plan.

Downtown Raleigh is the epicenter of redevelopment efforts. Where once small mom and pop businesses thrived, now multi-story apartment complexes with coffee shops and restaurants are booming.

City officials have touted the changes as positive, however longtime residents like McKoy believe the city's redevelopment program has ushered in gentrification. "You're displacing the Black community in their community," he said. "It's dangerous because you're changing the landscape of neighborhoods and communities that existed before the developers came in and changed those properties. I call it gentrification."

The term gentrification was coined in 1964 by British sociologist Ruth Glass to describe the displacement of the working class by the middle and upper classes in London neighborhoods. In the United States, the term is used to describe the displacement of minorities in historically segregated and low income communities, when white incomers, usually affluent, move in.

After World War II, America saw tremendous economic improvement, which in part, led to the creation of suburbs on the outskirts of cities.

To encourage migration to these areas, real estate brokers across the country used the fear of Black homeowners coming to the city, to persuade white property owners to sell their homes in the city at lower rates. Brokers purchased the homes, then significantly increased the selling price, and resold them to Black home buyers. This was known as blockbusting.

Following this, communities across the nation rapidly segregated, and entire black communities were often denied funds by banks to invest, renovate their homes, or relocate to the suburbs. This was known as redlining because lenders used red ink on maps to outline parts of the city that they considered high risk to default on mortgages. Lenders then denied loans to those inside of the marked areas.

Maurice Myers, a Raleigh resident and AP U.S. history teacher, recalls how his father was denied a loan in the 1950s due to these practices. "My dad was in World War II and was supposed to get the G.I. Bill to buy a house," Myers said. "The U.S. government wouldn't grant him the loan to live in the nice neighborhoods. They would only give it to Black people who wanted to live in crap neighborhoods."

Eventually, because redlined communities lack the resources to improve their properties or even maintain them, property values are driven down, making them vulnerable to gentrification.

The city then decides to revitalize these areas and invests large sums of money into things like public transportation, infrastructure, and land use. However, this in turn drives up property value in previously redlined areas, which often leads to the displacement of those indigenous to specific communities.

When property values rise, taxes do as well, and homeowners see an increase in their overall payment, which frequently includes the mortgage, taxes, and insurance. A person who was paying $500 a month, might see it increase to $700 a month or higher.

Once the monthly payment becomes too difficult for a homeowner to handle, they have to sell or risk going into debt trying to cover the increase in their payment. In Raleigh, this process has already begun. Over the past 12 months, property values in the city have increased by 5.4 percent, according to Zillow. This increase has led to the displacement of many Black homeowners who live just outside of downtown.

In Rochester Heights, Raleigh's first Black subdivision, homes are now upwards of $290,000. In the 1950s, the neighborhood was subject to redlining, and for many years was the only place where Black families could purchase homes. In other historically black neighborhoods in the city, like College Park, and Quarry Hills, land values have increased 360 percent and 463 percent respectively, because of the city's revitalization efforts.

To Gwendolyn Chunn, a retired assistant professor at Shaw University and Raleigh resident for 54 years, the gentrifying of Black communities is detrimental because people lose a sense of community and home.

Chunn recalled being on a train going to Scotland and remarking to an English person sitting next to her that there weren't many trees considering the age of the country. The person said that many years ago, people cut what they needed without concern for the people who would come after them.

"To a degree, that typifies a lot of progress in a lot of communities," she said. "You lose history; you lose sense of community towards a place. That's what keeps us kind of interested in returning home. Home is that sense of place that has familiarity and helps you to feel connected."

It’s More Than a Drone Program

By Camille Birdsong, a student in Professor Waltz' class

The legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators, was brought to Peninsula city schools this week as 18 young students learned to fly drones and dream of becoming FAA certified pilots, an opportunity that their ancestors fought for.

"We have three main objectives. We want to make sure that kids get exposure, that they are educated on things, and that they understand legacy," said Rickey Rodgers, Col, USAF (Ret), a staff member of the Tidewater Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. "If you're exposed to things you've never seen before, it leads you to want to learn more. And once you start learning, you realize the legacy that people who were involved with the Tuskegee Airmen have left behind."

Rodgers helped with training Newport News and Hampton students during the first annual Youth Summer Drone Program.

Young students arrived eager to learn about drones and the world of aviation. They engaged with the Drone Units of the Hampton and Newport News Police Departments, interacting with drones that the officers use daily on the job.

There were countless hours of drones whizzing back and forth, bumping into every wall in the gymnasium. Several staff members ducked their heads while providing instructions to the participants.

At the end of the program, each student successfully maneuvered his or her drone to all of the given checkpoints. Faces beamed with joy and pride as they applied what they had learned to complete the required tasks and received a certificate for completing the program.

But that wasn't the only heartwarming moment that occurred. Students met two members of the Tuskegee Airmen who reside in the Hampton Roads Area, SGT Harry Quinton, and SGT Thomas Newton. The two love to come to events and engage with those in the community.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. They overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II.

The drone program provides opportunities for Black kids who aren't traditionally exposed to drones or other STEM-related programs. Minority students face barriers in the STEM field due to implicit bias in early childhood education, which leads to a gap in performance later on and prevents them from entering fields like aviation.

Teachers can't tackle systemic issues of racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism in STEM by themselves, according to an article in Edutopia.

Addressing biases and enriching the skills of STEM teaching behaviors are goals that can benefit minority students and the STEM community as a whole.

Having black role models, like those offered by the Tuskegee Airmen, is critical to increasing diversity in STEM, studies show. Assigning Black students from low-income families to at least one Black teacher in third, fourth, or fifth grade lowered dropout probability in high school by 29 percent, according to the IZA Institute of Labor Economics.

Also, according to the same study, dropout rates for Black male students were reduced by 39 percent.

The gap can be closed, but it can't be done overnight.

After a successful week, the Tidewater Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen is already thinking of having another program next year or conducting it semi-annually.

"It will be more STEM-centered," said Clifton Douglas, Jr., Col, USAF (Ret), the director of the Youth Summer Drone Program. "So, things like aerodynamics, algebra, geometry, or the pros and cons of fixed wings over rotary wings. It's necessary."

ESPN writer & New York Times bestselling author Brian Windhorst inspires Sports Journalism students

HAMPTON, Va. (Oct. 30, 2020) – Brian Windhorst was buried in a pile of statistics, typing up high school football box scores in 1999 when page designer and copy editor Butch Maier joined him in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper sports department.

A few months later, Windhorst burst through the office door and declared, "I have just seen a kid who could become the greatest basketball player ever.

"And he's in the ninth grade."

Cue co-workers laughing at Windhorst then and students in the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications' new Sports Journalism class laughing with Professor Maier at Windhorst's stories Oct. 29.

This group knew the punchline ahead of time: The ninth-grader was LeBron James.

Fast-forward two decades, and Windhorst is an ESPN senior NBA writer and a two-time New York Times bestselling author, thanks to his writings on James.

"A lot of it has been luck," said Windhorst, referring to the times when other reporters were busy and he was assigned to cover St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, his alma mater in Akron, Ohio.

Back then, James was a skinny freshman and the basketball team had handed out only even-numbered jerseys, so the future King wore an unfamiliar No. 32. Maier shared a screenshot of James in that jersey with the class.

"How much is that throwback worth?" Windhorst said.

The Sports Journalism students learned from Windhorst that, in this profession, it's not always about getting paid. Sometimes it's about paying dues.

When sports editor Larry Pantages told Windhorst the Beacon Journal would not pay to send him to New Jersey to write about James attending a prestigious summer basketball camp, Windhorst bet on himself and paid for the trip out of his own pocket.

"It's really nice to hear tips and advice from someone who was not necessarily handed everything and had all the opportunities in the world but rather worked to get where they are at now," HU student Cole Parker said.

At every stop along his path, Windhorst had to prove himself, getting paid one story at a time or being given a beat to cover on an interim basis.

"Windhorst's journey wasn't easy, and hearing about it was inspiring," HU senior Lauryn Moss said. "It reminded me that I need to work on my craft constantly and that one day it will pay off."

Each student in the Sports Journalism class selects a beat to cover for the semester. Due to COVID-19 interrupting, delaying and postponing athletic seasons, the students and the professor have had to adjust accordingly.

Just because the games stop doesn't mean the reporting does.

"Even with no sports [events], you still have to cover that particular sport you are covering," HU student Aliyu Saadu said. "You have to learn how to do radio, TV and write as well."

Versatility and the ability to adapt keep sports journalism careers going. Windhorst and Maier worked together again at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Windhorst thought he might retire there.

Instead, James made his decision to take his talents to South Beach and play for the Heat. Windhorst took his reporting talents to Miami to cover the Heat for ESPN.

That time, things worked out.

That's not always the case, Windhorst said, when it comes to choosing career paths, selecting story topics and breaking news.

"Journalists have to be able to take a loss," HU student Kory Russell-Brown said, regarding what he learned from Windhorst. "Knowing how to take a loss humbles you and enhances you to become a better writer and reporter."

JAC 408 Sports Journalism is being offered in Spring 2021 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Perhaps one day students from this class will make names for themselves on ESPN.

What else did Windhorst say that might help get them there?

"The ability to identify news, have good news judgment and be able to use multimedia platforms are crucial in sports journalism," HU student Cameron Crocheron said. "Those types of abilities are what make you stand out from the crowd."

COVID’s Effect on Hampton University

By Tahji Collins

As students from Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications take online classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and staff are preparing for the day when students will return to campus.

"While students are learning remotely, Scripps classrooms are undergoing significant technological upgrades, so I look forward to the day students are able to return to utilize these learning resources," Scripps Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs Edward "Butch" Maier Said.

In the Scripps Howard building, new computers and smartboards have been added to classrooms. New cameras, tripods, microphones and lights have been obtained for the studio.

Joining the evolutionary additions to the classrooms, Augmented and Virtual Reality labs and spaces were secured by Dean Da'Vida Plummer's efforts to partner with 21st Century Fox and EON Reality. The Scripps Howard School of Journalism has benefited heavily from this summer's donation.

"With all these upgrades and additions, you still feel right at home in the building you've come to affectionately know as your home by the sea," Dean Plummer said.

Several large donations assisted Hampton in gaining these technological advancements, including a $30 million gift from Amazon's Mackenzie Scott and $100 million IBM grant split with 12 other universities.

IBM representatives said their gift to Hampton University will add assets such as curriculum content, guest lectures, and software by the end of this year, according to a news story by WAVY-10 News. IBM-HBCU Quantum Computing Center is a multi-year program that connects students and faculty to the field of quantum computing.

As universities monitor COVID, the additional funding has helped them keep safe and improve technology. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gifted Hampton University with $200,000 for COVID-related expenses. From this, each on-campus student received $100 to assist them in retrieving articles from campus when they returned home during the early days of the pandemic.

Hampton University President William R. Harvey and his wife, Norma, have also provided financial support to students who had needs related to COVID-19. Dr. and Mrs. Harvey made a donation of $100,000 for student expenses.

Hampton University students have not returned to campus for the Fall 2020 semester because cases have increased in states where some of the student body is located. These states include California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

"Online courses took a while to adapt to, but the safety of students and faculty at this moment is more important," Scripps Howard Senior Olusola Fakinlede.

While students adjust to online learning, professors have been trying to find their groove as well. "I teach hands-on production courses which is tricky to replicate online. I feel there's been a greater learning curve regarding the material. The inability to physically guide the students through the experience is not ideal especially when trying to receive feedback," Scripps Howard Assistant Professor Thomas Heffron.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cases are expected to increase if precautionary steps are not taken seriously. Dean Plummer said the return of students to campus will be based on factors of health and welfare of the student body in conjunction with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Everyone will need to get tested for coronavirus before returning to campus, and on-campus tests will be conducted frequently. In public places and outdoors on campus, face coverings must be worn by students, faculty and staff. Visitors will also be ordered to follow campus health and safety measures. Food will not be self-served, but will be pre-packaged for safety. This semester was also cut short, beginning August 10 and ending November 20, 2020. Hampton University's administration has not made a decision on whether Spring semester will be in person or online.

Black Disney employees provide insight to HBCU students...

Full title: Black Disney employees provide insight to HBCU students on the billion-dollar company's "commitment to diversifying"

An article by Jamaija Rhoades for Professor Lynn Waltz's class

Former Hamptonians and now Disney employees shared the efforts they have seen Disney make to ensure more black and brown voices are a heard during the company's virtual HBCU Storytellers at Disney forum for students at Hampton University.

"When I came in as an intern, there was a moment where I was like oh my God, I feel alone. But within the two to three years I was at GMA, I could see the commitment to diversifying. By the time I left, there were three times more people of color than there were I started," said Christina Powell, a producer of the Tamron Hall Show and 2017 graduate of Hampton University.

Other panelists shared how their time at Disney has given them the chance to network and communicate with individuals of African descent who come from different cultural backgrounds than themselves.

"PULSE is one of Disney's resource groups, and it is centered around black and African American culture. One of the things I really appreciated with being a member of PULSE was that I got to learn about other cultures within the black culture," said Barry Dillard, the Vice President of Risk Management Services and a 1990 graduate of Hampton University.

Along with having resources and safe spaces for people of color, members of the panel attested to the fact that many of the people that they work with are allies of the black community.

"Disney is full of allies, there are great, great leaders that are aware of everything that is going on. Especially now with the George Floyd killing, we have been asked for advice on how they (allies) can do better to better serve the African American community," said Courtnee Collier, a manager of Public Relations and 2001 graduate of Hampton University.

Panelists spoke on how their employment at Disney has given them the chance to highlight the importance of HBCUs and as a result, the company is connecting directly with these universities for interns.

"I guarantee you, when they looked at my resume, they had no idea Hampton University was an HBCU, probably didn't even know what HBCUs were. Once I got the job, I certainly got to tell them about it, I can tell them about HBCUs and the importance of them," said Dillard.

Aside from sharing their experiences as a being a person of color and working for a billion-dollar company, panelists provided tips on how to land an internship and how valuable the Hampton University experience had been in their lives.

"You don't get what you get out of a HBCU education anywhere else. Really don't take for granted the professors that are really investing in you. It feels like a pain, but I promise no one will ever pretend to care that much ever again," said Powell.

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