Black journalists to honor new Living Legends on Nov. 11

The National Association of Black Journalists–St. Louis (NABJ-STL) will honor Laurna Godwin, Russ Mitchell and Dr. Donald Suggs as Living Legends at the 2023 recognition event on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

Tickets are still available for the 2023 Living Legends recognition event of the National Association of Black Journalists–St. Louis (NABJ-STL; formerly the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists) on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. at the St. Louis University Il Monastero Banquet Center (3050 Olive Blvd., Louis, MO).

The 2023 honorees are Laurna Godwin, president and co-founder of Vector Communications; Russ Mitchell, anchor and managing editor at WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio; and Dr. Donald Suggs, executive editor and publisher of the St. Louis American newspaper. 

• After 20 years of reporting and anchoring as a broadcast journalist, Godwin launched Vector Communications in 1998, and became established as a “go-to” communications and engagement professional in the St. Louis region. Vector’s business motto is “advancing learning, dialogue, and positive change.” Vector has been driving communications and engagement for several critical initiatives in St. Louis, from transportation to healthcare, the environment and economic development.

• Currently the anchor and managing editor at WKYC News in Cleveland, Ohio, Mitchell attended Webster Groves High School, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and started his career on the switchboard at KTVI. He went on to report at KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri, and anchor at WFAA in Dallas, Texas, before returning home to St. Louis to report and anchor for KTVI and then anchor for KMOV. He’s also the former anchor of the “CBS Evening News” weekend editions and “Early Show” on Saturdays. 

Mitchell has earned many professional accolades and awards, including an Emmy for his coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800.

• Suggs earned a bachelor’s degree and doctorate of dental surgery from Indiana University, and completed post-graduate training at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and Washington University’s School of Dental Medicine. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he became the first African-American associate clinical professor at the Saint Louis University Dental School. He went into private practice in 1962. 

He is an art collector and was a founding member of the Museum of African Art in New York. 

Suggs and two partners purchased the St. Louis American in 1980. Today, the American is the largest independent newspaper in Missouri and one of the largest African-American papers in the nation

Headlines sponsors include Ascension Charity Classic-Emerson, Fox 2/11, Nine PBS and Vector Communications. Postscript sponsors include Vito Bracy/RVC Solutions, St. Louis Community College, the Tolson Family and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STL Today. Special thanks to CBS 4 News and St. Louis University. 

Supporters include Aries Communications, Dusk 2 Dawn Process LLC, Gloria S. Ross, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter and Nine PBS/Listen, St. Louis with Carol Daniel. 

For tickets, go to or

Past Living Legends are Sharon Stevens, 2013; Linda Lockhart, 2014; Bonita Tillman, 2015; Bonita Cornute, 2016; Art Holliday and Wiley Price, 2018; Ruth Ezell, Odell Mitchell and Cleora Hughes, 2019; Earl Austin Jr., Carol Daniel and Christopher Lee, 2021; and Adella Jones, Maurice Drummond and Kevin C. Johnson, 2022.


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