August 29, 2018
by Carla Hay
The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC)’s 32nd Annual NAMIC Conference presented in partnership with Multichannel News will bring together hundreds of media professionals committed to increasing and celebrating diversity on October 16 and October 17, 2018, at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. CNN anchor Don Lemon is the event’s keynote speaker. Former BET chairman/CEO Debra Lee will receive the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award, the event’s highest honor.
Lee will receive her award during the NAMIC Annual Awards Luncheon on October 17, 2018. Lee began her career at BET as the network’s first VP and general counsel in 1986. She was promoted to president/COO in 1996, and then she ascended to chairman/CEO in 2005. She exited BET in May 2018.
Lee commented in a statement: “It’s a privilege to be the beneficiary of the 2018 Humanitarian Achievement Award, which celebrates the legacy of Congressman Mickey Leland. Congressman Leland was a true visionary whose commitment to human justice and advancing the voices of women and minorities in the media forged a path for myself, as well as countless others in the entertainment industry. His passion and humanitarian efforts will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Lemon has been with CNN since 2006. Before joining CNN, he worked for several years for NBCUniversal and NBC News, with stints as a correspondent on “Today,” “NBC Nightly News” and “Weekend Today.” He was also a correspondent for “Weekend Today,” MSNBC and Chicago’s NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV. Lemon began his career as a TV news anchor at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, WCAU in Philadelphia and KTVI in St. Louis.
Lemon commented in a statement: “I am thrilled to be joining the NAMIC Conference this year with a group of media professionals who influence so many people. The ongoing conversation around diversity and inclusion is more important than ever and I am looking forward to the opportunity of being part of an event that has helped lead the charge in our industry for over 30 years.”
Joiava Philpott, vice president, Regulatory Affairs, Law & Policy Department, Cox Communications and chairperson of the NAMIC National Board of Directors, issued this statement: “We are honored to have Don as our opening keynote speaker. He is the consummate journalist who brings his authentic self to everything he does and I know everyone attending the NAMIC Conference will walk away with something from his story and the insights he will bring during his talk.”
Philpott added, “NAMIC is pleased to continue paying tribute to Congressman Leland’s legacy by honoring Debra L. Lee, a trailblazer in our industry whose generous mentoring has developed so many of the amazing leaders we have today.”