2003 SDABJ Scholarship award recipient Khari Johnson

When I was a teenager and still not altogether clear on what I wanted to do with my life, one Saturday afternoon I met members of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists around a conference room table for my scholarship interview. I don’t remember many of their questions or my answers, but I left with the understanding that a room full of Black journalists believed that I could be a journalist too and cared about my future.

I believed in myself, but I didn’t know what it took to become a professional writer, and the SDABJ’s vote of confidence got me to think of myself as capable of becoming a journalist. The money the SDABJ gave me was important, but years later, I understand that vote of confidence as one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. 

Today I’m senior AI staff writer at VentureBeat covering stories at the intersection of artificial intelligence, ethics, and policy. 

Supporting the SDABJ scholarship is an opportunity to give another young writer that same priceless gift.

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