WDIV's Rhonda Walker to receive the NABJ Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award
The National Association of Black Journalists this week named WDIV-TV anchor Rhonda Walker the recipient of the 2018 Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award.
The honor, named after late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Angelo B. Henderson, is given to a journalist who goes above and beyond to make a positive impact in their community.
"It is incredibly special and I am very honored to receive the award from the NABJ in and of itself, it’s humbling and it’s quite an honor to be recognized by your peers in journalism, for it to be a national award is very incredible," Walker told The Detroit News.
Walker, who has been on television in Detroit for 20 years, started the Rhonda Walker Foundation 15 years ago to empower girls in the inner city. The organization runs the Girls Into Women, a five-year program to help youths in middle and high school. According to the foundation, all of the teens who complete the program graduate from high school and enroll in college.
When she learned she would be given the Angelo B. Henderson Community Service Award, she said it gave her pause because "he was such a special person to the Detroit community and to receive an award in his name is just very special and means a lot to me."
"He was certainly someone I looked up to, his energy and his joy and his hard work in his community was something that I really admired," Walker said
The NABJ also announced the 2018 Hall of Fame class of journalists: Albert Dunmore (posthumous), Victoria Jones (posthumous), Louis Martin (posthumous), William Rhoden and Bob Ray Sanders.
Martin, called the “Godfather of Black Politics” by the Washington Post for his work as an adviser to Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, was the former editor and publisher of the Detroit Chronicle, which later became the Michigan Chronicle,
Dunmore was named the Michigan Chronicle's managing editor and executive editor in 1961. Seven years later he became the first black executive at Chrysler Corp. as its urban affairs specialist, said son Greg Dunmore,
The elder Dunmore passed his love for journalism onto Greg, an executive producer and host of Pulsebeat.tv.
"It is an honor for him to receive this award from the National Association of Black Journalists," Dunmore said. "His passion was always as a journalist, so I know that he's smiling from heaven above."
Walker and the Hall of Fame inductees will receive their awards at NABJ's 43rd annual Convention and Career Fair at the Detroit Marriott. Detroit is this year's host city for the event, which is Aug. 1-5.
"I think that during this time, especially where journalism integrity is being questioned, that it is such a wonderful time for him to be honored, to remind journalists and those who are aspiring to become journalists of the standards that journalists like my father set," Greg Dunmore said, adding his father's induction into the Hall of Fame underscores how someone's legacy can make an impact years after they're gone.