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Former NABJ President Sidmel Estes Dead at 60

Sidmel Estes

Former National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) president Sidmel Estes has died.

She was 60.

In 1991, Estes made history when she became the first female president of the association. She also served as a NABJ regional director and president of the Atlanta chapter. She passed away on Oct. 6. 

"NABJ grieves for Miss Sidmel. Our hearts are so heavy. Sidmel's in-your-face leadership style was my introduction to the best of NABJ as a new student member in 1993," NABJ President Sarah Glover said. "I'm so sad she is gone, but her passion and love for NABJ lives on in all of us."  

During her tenure as president, NABJ increased its membership to more than 2,000 journalists and was included in EBONY Magazine's list of Top 100 Organizations. In 1994, she led and co-created the first UNITY: Journalists of Color conference, and was instrumental in the release of its report, "Kerner Plus 25L A Call For Action," which outlined steps the media industry should take to improve racial diversity. 

Estes was born on November 27, 1954 in Marysville, California. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 and her Master of Science in Journalism in 1977, both from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. 

Estes is survived by two sons, Joshua and Sidney. 



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