Committee & Subcommittee Descriptions


Communications and Outreach Committee
Chair: Tené Croom

Email: communications [at]

The Communications and Outreach Committee is responsible for writing and sending news releases announcing chapter initiatives, updating PBMF’s social media sites and website with chapter and media-related news, taking photos at PBMF events and undertaking other communications or marketing initiatives that promote or represent PBMF.  The Community Service Subcommittee falls under the Communications and Outreach Committee.

Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop Committee
Chair: Olga George
Email: workshop [at]

The Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop Committee is responsible for the planning and execution of the annual Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop. Founded in 1983, the free program is designed to encourage local, African-American students to pursue careers in journalism, but students of any ethnicity and geographic location are welcome to apply. In the workshop, students produce projects in print, online, photo, radio and television journalism.

The committee works with workshop directors to recruit eligible students, attract and schedule media professionals to guide students in the workshop, chaperone students on assignments and other trips off campus, locate events for the students’ news conference project, etc.

Membership Committee
Chair: Ashley Johnson

Email: membership [at]

The Membership Committee is responsible for maintaining an updated membership database, notifying members about membership renewals and working in conjunction with other committees on initiatives that retain and attract members.

Professional Development Committee
Chair: LaMont Jones Jr.

Email: prodevelopment [at]

The Professional Development Committee is responsible for overseeing PBMF’s Professional Development Series, which is designed to give chapter members resources to help them thrive in today’s increasingly competitive media industry.  The series includes panel discussions and other events about a wide variety of topics, including freelancing, optimizing social media use, tax return preparation, data-driven journalism and ethics. 

Special Events Committee
Chair: Bofta Yimam
Email: SpecialEvents [at]

The Special Events Committee serves as a liaison between the PBMF board of directors and event subcommittees and, possibly, organizers of other chapter events.  The Robert L. Vann Media Awards and the Soul Café subcommittees fall under the Special Events Committee, which may assist the subcommittees in planning their events.

*The chairs of the five committees, along with officers, are members of the board of directors.*


Community Service Subcommittee
Chair: vacant

Email: info [at]

The Community Service Subcommittee, which falls under the Communications and Outreach Committee, organizes outreach projects designed to serve historically disadvantaged communities in the Pittsburgh-area while staying true to PBMF’s mission of bridging the gap between the media and black Americans.

Some of the subcommittee’s flagship programs include conducting an annual book drive to promote literacy among children, holding a winter clothes drive and recruiting members to serve as mentors and tutors for young minorities. 

Robert L. Vann Media Awards Subcommittee
Chair: Ervin Dyer

Email: vannawards [at]

The Robert L. Vann Media Awards Subcommittee plans the annual Robert L. Vann Media Awards. Founded in 1988, the program honors excellence in print, broadcast, photography and online journalism coverage of the African-American community of Western Pennsylvania and the African Diaspora. 

The subcommittee selects judges for the award submissions, manages the submissions, finds venues to hold the awards reception or banquet, works with the Communications Committee to announce award finalists and winners, orders the trophies, etc.

Soul Café Subcommittee
Chair: Sheila Beasley

Email: soulcafe [at]

The Soul Café Subcommittee plans the annual Soul Café, which is a showcase of live musical and spoken-word poetry performances that started in 2002.  It also includes a silent auction featuring merchandise and gift certificates donated by businesses.

The subcommittee books artists who donate their time to perform, secures donated items for the silent auction, reserves venues, works with the Communications Committee to market the Soul Café, etc.

Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit PBMF’s Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop Scholarship Fund for college-bound students who plan to study journalism or related fields.