Constitution & By-Laws

Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, Inc.

Constitution & By-Laws




The name of this organization shall be Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, Inc.  The acronym for the organization shall be HRBMP.  




HRBMP is a non-profit network of communicators organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.  The organization is dedicated to:


  1. Encouraging and supporting African-American media professionals, journalists, public 

relations specialists and media-related practitioners in mainstream and minority-owned media outlets, academia, corporations, government and the communications/media-related entrepreneurial arena  

  1. Supporting the career progression of media and communications-related practitioners through professional development, training and peer relationships
  2. Awarding college scholarships and internships to eligible African-American students from Hampton Roads, Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina who are pursuing media, journalism and communications-related degrees and serving as role models and mentors to students interested in media, journalism and communications-related careers
  3. Monitoring media to promote best practices and advocating for improvement regarding coverage of the African-American community and black diaspora, fairness in the workplace for African-American journalists and meaningful opportunities and promotion for black journalists in the career field
  4. Providing the African-American community with professional insight into media coverage and operations
  5. Operating as an exemplary group of professionals that honors and supports journalism excellence, diversity in news coverage and staffing and outstanding community achievement




HRBMP shall be composed of print and broadcast journalists, social media managers, content providers, public relations specialists, communication educators, other media-related professionals and students interested in pursuing media-related careers.  In compliance with the National Association of Black Journalists affiliation guidelines, two-thirds of the membership must be eligible for NABJ membership (full, associate and/or student). Applicants may be denied membership by the Executive Committee as recommended by the Membership chairperson.  Race shall not be considered or a factor in determining eligibility for membership.


Section 1 – Full Membership


Professionals working in media-related fields (as per Article III) employed full-time are eligible for full membership in HRBMP with voting privileges.


Section 2 – Associate Membership


Professionals working part-time (approximately 20 hours per week) in media-related fields (as per Article III) or graduate students pursuing media-related careers who are taking nine or more credit hours are eligible to become associate members with voting privileges. 


Section 3 – Alumni/Affiliate Membership

Former HRBMP members working outside of the Hampton Roads market or full-time media professionals outside of Hampton Roads committed to supporting HRBMP. 

Section 4 – Student Membership

Full-time undergraduate students attending an accredited college or university. Course of study must be in a media-related field (as per Article III). 

Section 5 – Lifetime Membership

 Lifetime membership to all past Presidents not removed from office.  These past leaders would also be required to commit to a minimum of one event a year if requested by HRBMP.  Lifetime members may also seek election to the board of directors. All Past Presidents prior to 2018 are not required to commit to one event a year to maintain Lifetime Membership.   



The fiscal year of HRBMP shall begin on Jan. 1 and end on Dec. 31 of each year.  All HRBMP members are required to pay dues. Annual dues shall be effective upon receipt of dues moneys for 

a 12-month period.  Those fees shall be made payable to HRBMP through the Treasurer or Chairperson of the Budget Committee.  The cost of annual dues for HRBMP members may be changed by a two-thirds vote by the general body at a regular or call meeting.




Members, in good financial standing with HRBMP, shall have the right to make motions and 

vote at all general body meetings of the organization.  All members, in good financial standing 

with HRBMP, shall have the right to participate in the discussion of motions, receive notices 

of all general body meetings, notes from previous general body meetings and announcements 

held under the auspices of HRBMP.  All members, except student members, are eligible to chair standing committees.



Section 1 – Executive Board


The officers of the organization shall be President, Vice President (s), Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and Parliamentarian.  These officers shall make up the Executive Board two-thirds of which shall be considered working journalists, i.e. writers, reporters, producers, editors, photographers and artists who produce, gather, disseminate and distribute news and work, own or manage newspapers, television stations, radio stations, magazines, wire services and digital outlets. 


The Executive Board shall meet at the President’s discretion.  It is responsible for establishing the direction for the organization. 


The Executive Board shall have the power to overturn, by a two-thirds vote, any vote by the 

general body in cases of an emergency where there is not enough time to gather the general body 

for a re-vote, and a decision is needed, in a timely fashion, to not jeopardize an HRBMP issue or sponsored event.


Distributions to qualifying organizations, those exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, of $100 or less may be granted by a majority vote on the Executive Board.


Section 2 – Board of Directors


The Board of Directors for HRBMP shall consist of the Executive Board as defined in Article VI, Section 1, the Immediate Past President (Honorary Member) and the chairpersons of the standing committees as outlined in Article IX.  The Board of Directors shall be responsible for planning the organization’s direction and advancing it to meet its organizational purposes and goals. It shall discuss issues and objectives prior to their presentation to the general body.  The Board of Directors shall meet at the President’s discretion.


Section 3 – Remuneration


No part of the net earnings of this organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributive to its members, trustees, officers, Board of Directors or private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II.  No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempt to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.





Section 1 – President


The President shall be the chief executive officer of HRBMP, presiding over all regular and call meetings, all Executive Board meetings and all Board of Director’s meetings.  The President shall appoint any vacant executive board or committee chair assignments within 30 days after elections.  


Section 2 – Vice Presidents


The Vice Presidents of HRBMP shall perform duties as assigned by the President.  If the President becomes incapable or unable to make organizational decisions, the general body shall elect one of the existing Vice Presidents as President and shall elect a full member in good financial standing to serve the remaining term of the vacated Vice-Presidential post.   


Section 3 – Treasurer


The Treasurer shall have the responsibility of maintaining a thorough financial record of all moneys received and spent by HRBMP.  No checks may be issued without the signatures of two of the three authorized members of the Executive Board, to be determined by the Executive Board.  The Treasurer must serve on the Budget Committee for the duration of her/his term and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President.


Section 4 – Recording Secretary


The Recording Secretary shall have the responsibility of keeping a record of all meetings of the general body, the Executive Board and the Board of Directors of HRBMP, in addition to providing members with agendas at each regular and call meeting.  The Recording Secretary shall be the custodian of all official HRBMP documents. The Recording Secretary shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President.


Section 5 – Corresponding Secretary


The Corresponding Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring that meeting notices and minutes 

are sent out at least two weeks prior to any HRBMP general body meeting.  The Corresponding Secretary shall handle the distribution of any other announcements to the membership as 

directed by the President or his/her designated representative.  The Corresponding Secretary shall perform such other duties as assigned by the President.


Section 6 – Parliamentarian


The Parliamentarian shall possess a knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order.  The Parliamentarian shall have a total understanding of HRBMP’s Constitution & Bylaws and shall advise the President of proper procedures for running general body and board meetings.  The Parliamentarian must default to Robert’s Rules of Order when no procedural stipulation exists in the by-laws. The Parliamentarian shall serve at the pleasure of the President.




Section 1 – Eligibility


To be eligible for an HRBMP office, the person must be a full member in good financial standing with the organization.  Associate Members are eligible for HRBMP office when their service is needed to preserve the continuity, integrity and operation of the organization. 


Section 2 – Election


A quorum of members in good financial standing (as per Article X, Section 3) must be present to hold elections of officers annually.  The current President shall assign a full member in good standing to preside over the election of officers. Officers shall be elected by secret ballot after nominations by the membership during a general body meeting.  The person receiving the majority of votes cast for each office shall be declared the winner. The current President shall cast a vote only to break a tie vote by the general body except when the group is choosing a President.


Absentee voting. Members in good standing who are unable to attend to the meeting designated for HRBMP elections may vote electronically by absentee ballot. The Nomination Committee will provide reasonable means for transmitting and authenticating absentee ballots, which may include voting by telephone, email, or web-based interface.  Absentee voting opens seven days before the election meeting and closes 24 hours prior to the start of the aforementioned meeting,.  In exceptional circumstances announced prior to the time of the vote, the Nomination Committee Chair may adjust the absentee voting time. 


Section 3 – Term of Office

 i The President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries shall be elected to – two-year terms. 

 ii The Treasurer and parliamentarian shall be elected to – three-year terms.  

 iii All members of the Board of Directors shall be elected to – two-year terms. 

 iv All officers may serve in the same office no longer than two consecutive terms.  


Section 4 – Removal & Resignations


Elected officers must notify the general body of intent to resign 30 days prior to the effective date of resignation.  The President will appoint a full member in good financial standing to serve the remaining term of the departing officer.  Proposals calling for the resignation of elected officers will be reviewed by the Board of Directors. A vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors shall be necessary to impeach an officer.




Section 1- Budget & Finance


The Budget & Finance Committee will hear recommendations from various committees and make determinations on allocations; set up an operating budget of income and expense; maintain the budget; ask for budget justifications in the form of itemized descriptions in writing.  All receipts for expenditures will be kept on file by the chairperson of this committee. The chairperson may, at the discretion of the President, be authorized to issue checks to cover general operating expenses incurred by the organization and to make reimbursements to members.  The chairperson of the Budget Committee may be appointed by the President to have an authorizing signature of the HRBMP operating account. The proposal or final expense sheet should be signed by the President and Treasurer. The Treasurer should be a member of this committee and not hold any other committee membership.


Section 2 – Special Events

The Special Events  Committee serves as lead agent, under the direction of the President and in collaboration with the HRBMP body, to research, recommend, plan, develop and successfully execute programs and educational events to support HRBMP’s people and priorities.   


Section 3 – Education & Scholarship


The Education and Scholarship Committee manages the HRBMP Scholarship Program, oversees the Joyce Ingram Mentorship Program and coordinates student external internships with area media/journalism outlets. The committee chairperson establishes and maintains relationships with area NABJ student chapters and local college and university Media/Journalism Department representatives. 


Section 4 – Fundraising


The Fundraising Committee is to design and initiate programs and events to raise money to support HRBMP and its activities, i.e., scholarship fund and operating budget.  This committee will work closely with the Budget Committee and Program and Events Committee.  


Section 5 – Media Watch, Communications, Public Relations and Social Media


The Media Watch, Communications, Public Relations and Social Media Committee is charged to promote best practices and advocate for improvement regarding coverage of the African-American community and black diaspora, fairness in the workplace for African-American journalists and meaningful opportunities and promotion for black journalists in the career field.  The committee monitors local media outlets on their coverage of African-Americans. The committee voices concern or accolades in response to media organizations’ attention to the African-American community and relative issues and coverage. The committee makes recommendations to the general body regarding HRBMP responses to include drafting and submitting correspondence to local media managers or in-person interaction. This committee is also is charged with promoting the image and mission of HRBMP through effective and efficient branding. The committee promotes HRBMP programs and 

people through news releases and coordinates television, radio and print opportunities to increase organizational visibility.  The committee acts as a liaison between HRBMP, the community and media outlets and compiles materials needed to maintain an external Hampton Roads Key 

Leaders contact list. This committee oversees the organization’s newsletter, Stay Tuned, manages 

the HRBMP website and oversees all social media platforms to include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The Media Watch, Communications, Public Relations and Social Media Committee is also responsible for maintaining the historical archives of the organization.  


Section 6 – Membership


The Membership Committee is responsible for soliciting and recruiting prospective HRBMP members; briefing new members on the operation of the organization; designing and initiating internal programs to sustain and increase membership; monitoring the needs of the membership and researching and executing activities to strengthen and expand the body.  This committee oversees, tracks and implements, at the discretion of the President, the member benefits program.


Section 7 –Professional Development


The Professional Development Committee is designed to provide opportunities for the professional growth and advancement of the organization’s members.  Such in-service training and workshops are to be in the areas of media/communications/journalism trends, issues, practices, operations and applications.  




Section 1 – General Body Meetings


Regular meetings of the general body of HRBMP shall be held at such intervals decided upon by the Board of Directors.


Section 2 – Call Meetings


Call meetings of the general body, Executive Board or the Board of Directors shall be held at such intervals as decided upon by the President of HRBMP.


Section 3 – Quorum


A quorum for general body meetings of HRBMP shall be the presence of at least two officers, two members of the Board of Directors and eight members in good financial standing.




Upon the dissolution of HRBMP, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.  Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.


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