Warren Bell Jr., director of the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement, will receive an Asante Award for being a trailblazer broadcast journalist at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at the Pavilion of Two Sisters in City Park.
A New Orleans native, Bell was already a regular radio presence before he graduated from St. Augustine High (1969) and attended Yale University on full scholarship majoring in Afro-American Studies. He returned home in 1974 and became an iconic presence in local media as an award-winning TV and radio news anchor and talk show host. In fact, Bell became New Orleans’ first African American weekday prime-time TV news anchor in 1977, reporting on most of the city’s milestone events for another two decades.
The talented native son also established a second career in higher education; first in the classroom for 17 years at Dillard University teaching Communications and Journalism courses, then as an associate vice president in University & Media Relations for seven years at Xavier University of Louisiana.
Since 2011, he has served as Director of the Honoré Center, a pilot program of the Southern University System and housed at SUNO that recruits young Black males with leadership potential from disadvantaged backgrounds to receive extra resources and other support to pursue Bachelor degrees, while requiring them to spend at least two years as local classroom teachers upon completion.
In addition, Bell sits on the board of the Medical Center of Louisiana Foundation and he is a longtime member the National Association of Black Journalists. Bell also is a past president of the Press Club of New Orleans.
Bell has received numerous local and regional awards for community service as well as his journalistic excellence. He and his family remain active at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church where he likes to say he began his “public speaking” career as a teenage lector, and where he continues to read the Word as a Lector today.