Empowering Voices, Shaping Futures: Leadership Insights from Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.




Written By Paul Garwood


Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), delivered an inspiring commencement address at Voorhees University's 127th graduation ceremony. Speaking to a class of 75 graduates, Dr. Chavis emphasized themes of hope, resilience, and social responsibility, urging graduates to seize new opportunities while remaining aware of the challenges they might face in the world​.


Dr. Chavis highlighted the historical significance of the moment, noting that 2024 marks the 197th year since the founding of the Black Press with the publication of "Freedom’s Journal" in 1827. He celebrated the achievements of students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation, framing their graduations as triumphs in the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice​.


In his address, Dr. Chavis also drew attention to current issues affecting Black Americans, such as attacks on voting rights and attempts to distort historical narratives. Despite these challenges, he expressed confidence in the graduates' ability to drive positive change, describing them as the "boldest, the most intelligent, the most gifted, and the most promising generation.


Voorhees University President Dr. Ronnie Hopkins praised Dr. Chavis for his dedication to justice and commitment to empowering future generations, noting that his example is particularly significant for the graduates​. Dr. Chavis concluded his speech with a poetic expression he composed for the Class of 2024, encouraging them to "fly high" and shine brightly as they embark on their new journeys​.