Constitution & By-Laws

Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, Inc.

Constitution & By-Laws

We the members of Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, hereinafter known as HRBMP, strive to promote a sense of community for media professionals from the Black Diaspora, joining together to support and advance the development of our members while magnifying our collective skills and talents for service to the greater Hampton Roads community.

The name of this organization shall officially be known as Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, Inc, an affiliate chapter of NABJ. The acronym for the organization shall be recognized as 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.
  2. Supporting the career progression of media and communications-related practitioners through professional development, training and peer relationships.
  3. 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.
  4. Monitoring media to promote best practices and advocating for improvement regarding coverage of the African-American community and Black Diaspora. As well as promote fairness in the workplace, meaningful opportunities and promotion for African-American Journalists and Media Related professionals.
  5. Providing the African-American community with professional insight into media coverage and operations.
  6. 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 decided upon by the Board of Directors as recommended by the Membership Chairperson. Race shall not be considered 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. Academic Professionals researching or teaching journalism are also eligible to become full members in HRBMP with voting privileges.

Section 2 – Associate Membership
Individuals working full-time, part-time or volunteering in a field related to journalism or mass media – such as video or digital production, public relations, public information, marketing, communications, advocacy, legal, etc. and whose work supports the mission of HRBMP are eligible to become Associate Members with full voting rights. Graduate students pursuing media-related careers are also 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 the Hampton Roads region 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).

The fiscal year of HRBMP shall begin on Jan. 1 and end on Dec. 31 of each year. All HRBMP members with the exception of those designated as Lifetime Members are required to pay dues. Annual membership shall be effective upon receipt of dues monies for a 12-month period. General Membership dues are required no later than January 31st . Members joining after that will have their dues prorated. All 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.


Section 1 – Members Rights
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 which are held under the auspices of HRBMP. All members, except student members, are eligible to chair Standing Committees.

Section 2 – Debate on the Question
Before a member can make a motion or speak in a debate, the chair must first recognize them. Each member has the right to speak twice, but cannot make a second speech as long as a member who has not spoken desires the floor. Without the permission of the body, no one can speak longer than two minutes. All debate matters must be confined to the merits of the pending question. Speakers must address their remarks to the chair, maintain a courteous tone and avoid injecting their personal tone into debate.


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 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 $50 or less may be granted by a majority vote on the Executive Board.

Lifetime Membership is granted to all past presidents not removed from office. These past leaders are required to commit to a minimum of one event per year if requested by HRBMP. Lifetime Members may also seek election to the Board of Directors. Presidents who served prior to 2018 are grandfathered in and not required to comply with the one event per year guideline to maintain Lifetime Membership.

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) or Past President or Chapter Advisor 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. If an elected position is vacant, the President shall appoint a member in good financial standing to serve in that position within 30 days after elections.

Section 2 – Vice Presidents
The Vice President(s) of HRBMP (shall consist of one from the Peninsula and one from the Southside – when applicable) 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 monies 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. The Recording Secretary shall be the custodian of all official HRBMP documents. The Recording Secretary shall perform 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 discretion of the President.


Section 1 – Eligibility
To be eligible for the HRBMP offices of President or Vice President, the person must be a full-time Media Professional, whose principal livelihood is generated from their career. They must also hold a professional membership with NABJ, full membership with HRBMP and be in good financial standing with both organizations. Associate Members are eligible to hold all other HRBMP offices when their service is needed to preserve the continuity, integrity and operation of the organization. They must also be in good financial standing with both NABJ and HRBMP.

Section 2 – Election
In order to hold the election of officers, a quorum of members in good financial standing (as per Article X, Section 3) must be present. 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 nominating period has concluded and the information has been brought before the HRBMP members 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.

Section 3 – 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 4 – Term of Office

  1. The President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries shall be elected to two-year terms.
  2. The Treasurer and Parliamentarian shall be elected to three-year terms.
  3. All members of the Board of Directors shall be elected to two-year terms.
  4. All officers may serve in the same office no longer than two consecutive terms.

Section 5 – 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 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 and Finance Standing Committee
The Budget and Finance Standing Committee hears recommendations from various committees and makes determinations on allocations; sets up an operating budget of income and expense; maintains the budget; asks 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 Budget Chairperson and/or Treasurer 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 and Finance 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 Standing Committee
The Special Events Standing 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 Standing Committee
The Education and Scholarship Standing 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 – Byron Burney Community Journalism Academy Standing Committee
The Byron Burney Community Journalism Academy (BBCJA) Standing Committee manages the operations of the Academy. The Academy’s Superintendent works with the Education and Scholarship Chair to develop creative assignments for Academy participants. The Superintendent is also responsible for recruiting as well as establishing and maintaining contact with all Academy participants, their parents and their mentors. The committee’s outreach efforts include seeking donations and funding for various Academy needs and for building relationships with Journalism, Communication and Media Instructors who teach middle and high school students across the Hampton Roads region. The Superintendent will be an HRBMP member in good standing and will be appointed by and reports directly to the President.

Section 5 – Fundraising Standing Committee
The Fundraising Standing Committee is to designs and initiates programs and events to raise money to support HRBMP and its activities, i.e., the scholarship fund and operating budget. This committee works closely with the Budget Committee and Program and Events Committee.

Section 6 – Media Watch Standing Committee
The Media Watch Standing Committee promotes best practices and advocates for the improved coverage of the African-American community and Black Diaspora. The committee also oversees fairness in the workplace for African-American journalists by seeking meaningful opportunities and promotion for Black Journalists. 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. The Chair should be an experienced media professional working either full time or part time in media.

Section 7 – Media Relations Standing Committee
The Media Relations Standing 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, TikTok etc. The Public Relations Committee is also responsible for maintaining the historical archives of the organization.

Section 8 – Membership Standing Committee
The Membership Standing Committee solicits and recruits prospective HRBMP members; briefs new members on the operation of the organization; designs and initiates internal programs to sustain and increase membership; monitors membership rolls and the needs of the membership as well as researches and executes activities to strengthen and expand the body. This committee oversees, tracks and implements, at the discretion of the President, the member benefits program.

Section 9 – Professional Development Standing Committee
The Professional Development Standing Committee provides opportunities for the professional growth and advancement of the organization’s members. Responsibilities also include, sending out job listings, in-service training and workshops which are to be in the areas of media trends, issues, practices, operations and applications.


Section 1 – General Body Meetings
Regular meetings of the general body of HRBMP shall be held on both the Southside and the Peninsula in 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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