By Clare Jones, JSHOP Reporter
It wasn’t unusual to find Eva Coleman pacing through the halls of Detroit’s Renaissance Center this week with her shoe game strong and making things happen.
She’s the convention chairwoman for the National Association of Black Journalists’ 43rd annual gathering in a resurging downtown Detroit Aug. 1-5.
“Detroit is a comeback city and NABJ is also coming back,” she said.
Appointed by NABJ President Sarah Glover, Coleman was in charge of the entire convention from start to finish. Working with her team of producers, Coleman managed the major plenary sessions, handled guest speakers and informed Glover on schedule changes.
And, for the first time in the organization’s history, its convention is shining light on technology in the workforce, media entrepreneurship and social justice issues.
Coleman, a Texas native, has been an active member of NABJ since 1995. Throughout her career, she has won many highly respected awards, started and taught broadcast journalism programs, and has served as president and is the current vice president of her local NABJ chapter in Dallas-Fort Worth.
She’s also spent the past six summers serving as JSHOP’s multimedia coordinator, which for many students is their introduction to the profession.
Coleman said she is delighted to see so many journalists from across the nation attending this year’s convention, which hasn’t been in the Motor City since 1992. There are more than 3,000 journalists attending this convention.
Coleman said the Detroit convention is expected to surpass attendance records. And she said the opportunity that “fell into my lap” is becoming one of her defining career moments.
Coleman said journalism is experiencing a rebirth after coming under attack recently. Although she did not mention anyone specific, some people have publicly expressed a general mistrust in news media, and President Donald Trump has openly called journalists “the enemy of the people.”
“You have people in leadership positions who dog out the media constantly, but I have seen a surge in the number of students who have signed up for media and journalism classes,” Coleman said.
Aside from being chairwoman of this year’s convention, Coleman is the “go-to girl in the Frisco School District” who created three different television shows at three high schools. Also, she has done workshops with her local NABJ chapter.
While instructing Frisco High School’s broadcast journalism class, she helped create a television news program. Over several years at the high school, Coleman and her students created 200 episodes.
This year, Coleman will celebrate her 15-year anniversary working with high school students. Coleman said she wants to be known as someone who helps others achieve their goals and dreams.
“Every student can reach my expectations,” she said.
Candace Bagwell, a broadcast advisor at Heritage High School in Frisco, Texas who worked with the JSHOP this year said Coleman “has always taken time to answer questions or give advice even if it is at the last minute.”
Coleman said she tells aspiring journalists to recognize their own potential.
“Don’t sell yourself short,” she said.