Nonprofit Work

Throughout my career I have directed and volunteered for several journalism, communications and arts-based nonprofit and professional organizations that operate at the state and national levels.

Meredith Cummings Teaching Teens
National Society of Newspaper Columnists

National Society of Newspaper Columnists I serve as Vice President of this nonprofit professional organization, devoted to promoting professionalism and camaraderie among columnists and other writers, including bloggers. NSNC advocates for columnists and free-press issues.

Society of Professional Journalists

Society of Professional Journalists: For more than 100 years the Society of Professional Journalists has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism and perpetuating a free press. Currently a member of the (Pennsylvania) Keystone Pro Chapter, I served on the Society of Professional Journalists Education Committee from 2013-2023 and coordinated the #press4education efforts from 2020-2023. I served on the SPJ Alabama Professional Chapter Board for nine years, including as president.

National Federation of Press Women

National Federation of Press Women: NFPW represents professionals and students working across the communications spectrum in the United States. I served as Secretary for two years, and Student Membership Director two years. The organization offers community and connections to other professionals in 32 state affiliates and welcomes at-large members from areas without affiliates. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Press Club, my state’s NFPW affiliate.

National Elementary Scholastic Press Association

NESPA: From 2012 to 2022, I directed the National Elementary Schools Press Association, founded in 1994, an organization dedicated to helping elementary and middle schools start new and improve existing class and school media programs. NESPA serves about 800 schools around the United States and honorary members include Judy Blume, among others.

Alabama Scholastic Press Association

The Alabama Scholastic Press Association, is 86 years old and seeks to empower middle and high school newspaper, yearbook, multimedia, newsmagazine, literary magazine and broadcast staffs around Alabama. As director from 2009-2022, I organized contests, conferences, workshops and other training opportunities for students and teachers, as well as wrote grants and handled business aspects of a non-profit.

Multicultural Journalism Program

Multicultural Journalism Program: Since its inception in 1984, the Multicultural Journalism Program has been committed to increasing diversity in America’s newsrooms. I served as director from 2009-2022 of the program, including the Multicultural Journalism Workshop that gives high school students experience and teaches them more about college life and a career in media. Each summer, 10 to 20 students from around the country attend an intensive 10-day workshop, which emphasizes multimedia reporting, writing, editing, graphics, photography, production and basic communication skills. Participants produce the MJP Journal (online and in print) to showcase what they’ve learned.

TED Circles

TED Circles and TEDx: I am a TED Circles host and was previously lead organizer for TEDxTuscaloosa. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, such as the one in Tuscaloosa, are self-organized.