BALTIMORE – The NAACP issued a call today for all emerging leaders to join Association Chairman Roslyn M. Brock in Hollywood, Florida during Memorial Day weekend. The seventh annual Leadership 500 Summit will encourage discussions on a revitalized civic agenda that lays groundwork for young professionals in the modern-day civil rights movement.
“In 2011, one year away from another landmark election, the NAACP is issuing a new “front line” call for all young people to come and discuss the future of the civil rights movement,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “This year's Leadership 500 Summit is particularly important as political campaign season begins; the baton of leadership is passing to the next generation of civil and human rights activists. The NAACP will lead a forum with coalition partners in civil and human rights, political, social, economic, fraternal and faith-based organizations to explore collaborative initiatives in order to reach the NAACP goal of “Affirming America’s Promise,” added Brock.
This year’s Summit, themed “Leadership by Design: Ensuring our Legacy”, will allow participants to attend two and a half days of workshops, interactive panel discussions and general sessions led by non-profit, private sector and community innovators.
The event will also feature prominent leaders helming workshops and helping participants craft a balanced agenda for young professionals in the coming year. April Woodard of BET will host “2012: What’s the Next Step?” a town hall meeting to discuss the role of Millennials in the upcoming election cycle. Discussion contributors will include former U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, Rev. Leah Daughtry and journalist Charles Ellison. ESPN’s Keith Clinkscales, PR guru Terrie Williams, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson will also serve as Summit keynote speakers. Additionally, national presidents of the nine National Pan Hellenic Council organizations will attend the event. Recording artists Raheem DeVaughn, Earnest Pugh, Marcus Johnson and Chelsey Green will provide entertainment.
“We are seeing an unprecedented and coordinated attempt to roll back the clock on civil rights protections in this country,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, 38, who in 2008 became the youngest person to lead the nation's oldest civil rights organization. "Our generation must continue to step up, and help lead the nation in resisting these attacks to regain the inclusive, forward-looking spirit of 2008. The NAACP Leadership 500 Summit empowers young leaders nationwide to do just that: step up and win battles for justice and equality for all.”
"If we think out of abundance rather than poverty and collaboratively rather than competitively, the NAACP will find synergies in our transformative civil and human rights work for the journey ahead," Brock said.