The Politics & Inclusion’s 3rd Annual Dinner Celebrates Journalists and Builds Community

On Friday, April 26, CNN’s Abby Phillip and ColorComm Founder & CEO, Lauren Wesley Wilson, co-hosted their annual Politics & Inclusion Dinner in Washington, D.C. Now in its 3rd year, this exclusive dinner has become a highlight of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Weekend, bringing together esteemed journalists of color alongside rising stars in the field.

“The dinner is, at its core, a celebration. Even though many of us work for competing news networks and outlets, we are all friends bonded by a shared journey in journalism. The dinner is an opportunity to celebrate each other and our collective success. I so appreciate Lauren and Abby for bringing us together each year,” said Geoff Bennett, Co-anchor of PBS NewsHour.

Politics & Inclusion dinner
L to R. Lauren Wesley Wilson, Eugene Daniels, Abby Phillip. Image: Matt Borkowski for BFA.

This year’s Politics & Inclusion Dinner welcomed new additions to the host committee, including Laura Jarrett, Rachel Scott, Amna Nawaz, Laura Barrón-López and others. The evening commenced with a private reception featuring signature cocktails by Moët Hennessey USA, paying homage to the co-hosts with drinks like the “Downtown Abby” for Abby Phillip and the “L-Dubya-Dubya” for Lauren Wesley Wilson.

“This year’s Politics and Inclusion Dinner is an opportunity to honor inclusivity of journalists of color and their contributions to the media industry. We have established this event as a celebration of those who strengthen the voices of our community and the rising stars in the industry,” said Lauren Wesley Wilson, CEO of ColorComm Corporation.

Politics & Inclusion dinner
L to R: Alan Williams, Jonathan Burkes, Trymaine Lee, Shaquille Brewster, Geoff Bennett, Astead Herndon, Jeff Ballou, Marcus Richardson. Image: Matt Borkowski for BFA.

The culinary experience unfolded with a three-course meal crafted by chef Nick Stefanelli at Masseria, an esteemed Michelin-starred restaurant. Amidst the ambiance of smooth jazz tunes, the violinist played hip-hop and journalists from various networks connected, fostering new relationships while enjoying the exquisite dining experience.

“There are very few spaces where journalists of color, Black journalists in particular, can come together to be in community, to fellowship, to lift each other up, and to truly see and be seen. This annual gathering is not only special, it’s necessary,” said Trymaine Lee, MSNBC Correspondent and Host of “Into America” podcast.

Politics & Inclusion dinner
L to R: Abby Phillip, Lauren Wesley Wilson, Elaine Welteroth, Laura Jarrett. Image: Matt Borkowski for BFA.

Among the notable guests were Kim Godwin, Kristen Welker, Eugene Daniels, Elaine Welteroth and April Ryan, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the evening. The event was made possible by sponsors Walmart, Fenton, Pinterest, and Moët Hennessey USA, highlighting the collaborative efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and excellence within the journalistic community.

“In an increasingly diverse country, journalists of color are covering American government and politics at a time when their voices have never been more needed. Especially in this election year when voters are looking to understand their choices, we need the media to cover politics with empathy, honesty and clarity. I’m proud that Politics and Inclusion is once again creating a space to celebrate the contributions of journalists of color to American Democracy,” said Abby Phillip, Anchor of NewsNight with Abby Phillip.

Updated: April 29, 2024 — 3:03 pm