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"Senior Obama Advisor Valerie Jarrett to Attend Black Journalists' Convention"

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Valerie_Jarrett (46k image)TAMPA, FLA. - August 6, 2009 - Senior presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett will join two cabinet members at the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in Tampa, Fla. this week.

Jarrett is scheduled to speak at the NABJ Hall of Fame Banquet and Inductions on Friday, August 7, 2009. Jarrett will take questions from members of the press immediately following the event.

Jarrett joins EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in speaking at the 2009 NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair.

"NABJ is honored to welcome such a distinguished and instrumental figure from the Obama administration," said Barbara Ciara, NABJ President. "With the addition of Valerie Jarrett joining the EPA Administrator and Commerce Secretary, the NABJ convention becomes an important opportunity to gauge the progress of the new administration on topics from the environment and green jobs to the growing political power of minorities."

President Obama has stated that every important decision that he has to make passes first through Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett was recently featured on the cover of the July 26, 2009 issue of The New York Times Magazine for her quiet, but ever-present role in the inner circle of the President.

"Valerie Jarrett's decision to attend the NABJ convention demonstrates the important forum that NABJ conventions have served for many years," said Ciara.

Jarrett is a Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama administration. Prior to that position, she served as a co-chairperson of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. The Chicago lawyer and businesswoman has also served as Obama's business liaison, has promoted minority issues and she chairs the White House Commission on Women and Girls. The Obama-Jarrett friendship goes back to Barack Obama's formative years as a community organizer in Chicago.

The cabinet members joining Jarrett at this year's NABJ convention include Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who will take part in a special plenary session, "This Land is Our Land Too: Justice, Jobs, and Environmental Protection," on Friday, August 7 at the Tampa Convention Center. Jackson's address and a question-and-answer period will allow journalists the opportunity to question Jackson on issues of environmental policy, corporate America and jobs in black communities.

An afternoon plenary features Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke who will discuss, "The 2010 Census and a Majority Minority Nation," on Friday, August 7 at the convention center. Locke will also discuss this unparalleled historic event and its wide-ranging implications including the impact on minority political power.

The NABJ convention is the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country. This year's annual convention and career fair includes more than 50 workshops; an exhibit hall with journalism recruiters; and demonstrations and training sessions by top digital and multimedia journalism organizations including Google, the Poynter Institute and the Gannett Foundation. Sponsors for this year's event include Disney, Lilly, Google, Microsoft, CNN and Bloomberg.

For more information, go to For press credentials to cover any of the above events please download a Press Credentials Form at Questions may be directed to the NABJ Press Office located at the Tampa Convention Center. You may reach the press office at: 813.276.6923 or 813.276.6924. You may also e-mail:


An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 3,500 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

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