The Black Press of America celebrates 195 years of being the voice for the voiceless and the trusted voice for African descendants everywhere. (File photo)
The Black Press of America celebrates 195 years of being the voice for the voiceless and the trusted voice for African descendants everywhere. (File photo)

Five noted professionals in the journalism and communications fields will be honored next month at a gala sponsored by the Washington Association of Black Journalists.

The Special Honors Awards Gala will take place on Dec. 10 at the Eaton DC in Northwest and will be presented by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Adelle M. Banks, the projects editor and national reporter for Religion News Service.

The Legacy Award will be filled by Washington Informer freelance writer Hamil Harris, who has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper, The Washington Post and other publications.

“I cried when I learned that I would receive this award because it comes from a new generation of reporters, writers, and editors who are members of the WABJ,” Harris said. “My heart is full because I am 62, and I have spent the last 40 years fighting to report and write stories, and it has not always been easy. But I know that to be validated by my colleagues feels so good. I am honored.”

Tracee Wilkins, the Prince George’s County bureau chief for NBC4, is slated to receive the Journalist of the Year Award, while the Young Journalist of the Year Award will go to Nolan D. McCaskill, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Lon Walls, president and CEO of Walls & Associates, Inc., will receive the Excellence in Communications Award.

“We are excited about this inaugural event, which showcases the contributions of our membership to the Washington region,” said WABJ President Khorri Atkinson. “Our esteemed honorees have done impactful work throughout their stellar careers worth celebrating and emulating.”  

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