Keem O. Muhammad: SPJ Member of Month for September

Keem Muhammad

Keem Muhammad

A rising young star in the SPJ firmament is a student and leader already – Keem Muhammad. Congratulations, Keem! 

He has just finished a year and a half on the SPJ National Board of Directors as Campus Representative. He was an active and committed member of the board during this time.

Dori Zinn, previous chair of the Diversity Committee, nominated Keem as Member of the Month in August. Dori says, “He helped update the Dori Maynard Diversity Fellowship application and qualifications, which saw the most applicants in the last 10 years. Even for his first year as a national board member, Keem is driven to make SPJ better for all.”

Muhammad is a full-time performance studies and art and public policy senior at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is from East St. Louis, Ill. While previously enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, Keem served as Editor-in-Chief of LEGACY Magazine, an award-winning publication of LSU Student Media. He has since worked as a Digital Media Consultant with the Associated Press and Global Editorial Director with Equality for HER, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit committed to global social equity and femme spectrum rights. 

While SPJ Campus Representative, he helped revitalize the diversity fellowship, assisted in the selection of scholarship winners, established new relationships with other associations, brainstormed new ways to include student members in SPJ governance, and began chartering an all-new student chapter in New York City. 

He is not finished. ‘’SPJ has demonstrated an inability to meet and maintain engagement with broader emerging audiences. What’s more — our response to this inability is concerning.’’ 

‘’The biggest opportunity SPJ faces is, in both the short and long term, in the future of Quill magazine. As the oldest and one of the largest journalism organizations of its kind, the less than stellar performance of SPJ’s official publication is also concerning. It is also energizing, as it presents a new chance for SPJ and SDX to reintroduce its journo-education efforts to members and the public at large. 

‘’I see the magazine as a vehicle through which other issues SPJ faces can be tamed (membership, diversity, engagement, sustainable revenue, etc.). In other words, Quill needs a major rebrand, and if the Society’s leadership gets it right, the fruits of that labor stretch far beyond quality content.’’ 

He also is concerned about media literacy. 

‘’Active and unbiased inclusivity is an integral part of 21st-century journalism and I care about SPJ because it has the resources necessary for increasing media literacy at all levels of the multimedia community.’’ 

Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan S. Stevens, Membership Committee member, at Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th. 

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