FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 27, 2023
PRESS CONTACT: Kenrick Thomas email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – The Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ) is proud to announce that Krissah Thompson, a managing editor at The Washington Post, will be honored with the inaugural Dorothy Butler Gilliam Trailblazer Award at the 2023 WABJ Special Honors & Scholarship Gala.
This award is presented by the WABJ Executive Board to a D.C. area newsroom manager or editor for their trailblazing careers and exemplary editorial leadership skills. It was established in honor of print journalism giant Dorothy Butler Gilliam, who in 1961 became the first Black woman reporter at the Post and later worked as an editor and columnist before retiring in 2003. The award-winning journalist is a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and president of the now-defunct Unity: Journalists of Color (later renamed as Unity: Journalists for Diversity).
The WABJ Special Honors & Scholarship Gala will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Armour J. Blackburn University Center on the campus of Howard University. Tickets for the gala can be purchased here.
“Dorothy Butler Gilliam has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity and excellence in newsroom leadership for decades, and she’s been instrumental in paving the way for young Black journalists and challenging the status quo,” said WABJ President Khorri Atkinson.
“The WABJ Executive Board saw it fitting to ensure her legacy remains part of this annual celebration while recognizing Krissah Thompson, whose editorial acumen and exceptional leadership embody the award namesake’s trailblazing legacy,” Atkinson said. “Thompson’s rise at the Post is inspiring to countless young journalists including myself. She’s the perfect inaugural recipient of this accolade.”
Thompson was promoted to the Post’s masthead in 2020 to serve as the publication’s first Black, female managing editor after working in several reporter and editor roles for nearly two decades. In her current role, she oversees the Climate, Features and Audio coverage departments and leads the newsroom’s efforts in the recruitment, hiring, promotion and mentoring of staff members, with a goal toward improving the Post’s diversity.
Thompson started working at the Post in 2001 as a summer reporting intern before joining as a full-time staffer.
Founded in 1975, the Washington Association of Black Journalists is an organization of more than 300 Black journalists, educators, public relations professionals and student journalists in the Washington, D.C., metro area. WABJ provides members with ongoing professional development opportunities and advocates for newsroom diversity, equity and inclusion. WABJ was named 2023 Professional Chapter of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. For more information, please visit www.wabjdc.org
Updated: This release has been updated with additional information about Thompson’s role at the publication.