Jalyn Hall, the young star who portrays Emmett Till in the film Till, will unveil a new Investigative Journalism Scholarship at the Washington Association of Black Journalists‘ inaugural Special Honors AwardsGala on Saturday, December 10, 2022 in Washington, DC.
The Special Honors Awards Gala salutes the legacy of Black journalists and the critical role they have played throughout history in maintaining democracy, by ensuring that every voice and perspective in the nation is heard.
Presented by Hall on behalf of fellow Till cast members and filmmakers, and MGM’s Orion and United Artists Releasing, the Investigative Journalism Scholarship will benefit local college journalism students and help further the organization’s efforts to increase the representation of Black journalists in the field of investigative reporting. By supporting up and coming journalists in the DC area, MGM, the cast and filmmakers believe it will help open the door for more journalists to come.
“I have the honor of portraying Emmett Till in the movie Till” says Hall, who learned how important Black journalists were in the civil rights movement while working on the film. “I was 14 during production, the same age as Emmett Till when he was killed and I thought about that a lot,” he says. “I thought about how hard that must have been for his mom because they were close like me and my mom are close,” he says. “Mamie Till Mobley became a hero….that’s something very few people will ever do.”
“WABJ President Khorri Atkinson says “It means a great deal to the Washington Association of Black Journalists that MGM’s Orion Pictures and United Artists Releasing would demonstrate that they see the importance of nurturing the next generation of journalists by providing this scholarship and making it possible for Jalyn Hall to attend. These gestures have a positive ripple effect on many levels.”
WABJ Special Honors Awards was created to honor and celebrate Washington, D.C., area Black journalists, educators, and communications professionals for their distinguished body of work. Awardees are nominated by their peers and recognized in five categories: Lifetime Achievement Award, Legacy Award, Journalist of the Year, Young Journalist of Excellence Award, and Excellence in Communications Award.
Co-hosts for the gala are Eugene Daniels, White House Correspondent for POLITICO, MSNBC Contributor, and the newly elected President of the White House Correspondents Association, with Marissa Mitchell, Fox5 Washington DC Anchor.
This year’s award recipients are:
Adelle M. Banks – Lifetime Achievement –Adelle M. Banks is the projects editor and a national reporter for Religion News Service, covering topics including religion and race, the faith of African Americans, and partnerships between government and religious groups.
Hamil Harris – Legacy Award – Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who has written hundreds of stories for various news organizations for nearly four decades. Washington Post, the Washington Informer, USA Today, and Religion Unplugged.
Tracee Wilkins – Journalist of the Year – Tracee Wilkins is the Prince George’s County Bureau Chief for NBC4 Washington. She’s an Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple Emmy Award-winning reporter.
Nolan D. McCaskill – Young Journalist of the Year – Nolan D. McCaskill covers Congress for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining The Times in September 2021, he spent nearly seven years at Politico, where he covered breaking news, Congress, the Trump White House, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and race and policy.
Lon Walls – Excellence in Communications Awards – Lon Walls is President and CEO of Walls & Associates, Inc., formerly Walls Communications. He established the firm in 1993 after leaving his position as vice president and manager of the Washington, DC, office of Hill & Flowers Public Relations, a Chicago-based public relations agency.
WABJ’s Special Honors Awards are presented by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
For more information on WABJ, please visit www.wabjdc.org.
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