(BALTIMORE, MD) The NAACP announced it will celebrate its 101st year anniversary in Kansas City, MO. The NAACP will kick-off its second century with the ACT-SO competition and performance that attracts hundreds of the nation’s most gifted students to compete in arts, technology and academics.
The convention comes as low income and communities of color are facing double digit unemployment, record foreclosures, school closings, school re-segregation, and other critical issues threatening progress made in the last century. NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization, will advance solutions and adopt a policy agenda that will be presented to Congress, the Administration and could play a role in the electoral discourse. The youth will present a new civil rights agenda that builds on the past but embraces the unique struggles and aspirations of today's young people
Convention participants include actors, established and emerging civil rights leaders, elected officials and faith-based leaders.
Cicely Tyson will receive this year’s Spingarn Award on July 15th, which is awarded to American of African descent for outstanding and noble achievement.
"As we move forward in our second century of existence, we are keeping one eye on the great deeds and sacrifices of our predecessors, and another on the future development of young civil and human rights advocates. Kansas City is a city rich with African American history and an emerging destination for business and commerce, and it is a fitting location to host our annual convention," said NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock. "The 101st NAACP Convention represents the end of a century of achievements, struggle and sacrifice, and the dawn of a new phase of civil and human rights. It is time for us to assume leadership and create a new front line. I am honored to serve as Chairman as we work toward a more 'perfect union' under the banner 'One Nation, One Dream.'"
"In its 101st year, the NAACP boasts more than a century’s worth of civil and human rights victories, but there is much more to do.” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This year’s theme of ‘One Nation, One Dream’ will mark a strong rebuke to the divisive, polarizing message of hate groups and elements like the Tea Party that are negatively influencing our public discourse and trying to roll the clock back on progress. Our convention will unveil an agenda of hope not hate; an agenda of jobs, tolerance opportunity, justice and the advancement of civil rights. We invite all who care about the future of this nation to join us in a clarion call to become engaged—to join us in working to realize the promise of America: a nation where all children can go to a good school, live in a safe community and have a real chance to share in the American dream, " Jealous said.
The convention will set the stage for its programs and legislative agenda for the next year and will feature advocacy workshops on a myriad of vital issues including health care, voter registration and mobilization, census participation, wealth creation and developing strategies to increase green enterprises in communities of color.
The convention will also host the 41st Annual Commerce and Industry Show on July 10th and a two-day diversity job fair.
“As we celebrate our second century of existence, we do so humbly and with gratitude; thankful to the hundreds of thousands of members, who, over the past 100 years committed themselves to social justice as members of the NAACP,” said NAACP Vice Chairman Leon Russell. “With several campaigns, initiatives and issues on the horizon, the NAACP looks to its future with hope for a more just and civil society. We thank the city of Kansas City and the Kansas City Branch for graciously hosting us, as we continue our journey toward social justice.”
The Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, better known as ACT-SO competition will be held on July 9th. Students will compete in 26 ACT-SO categories, including sciences, humanities, performing arts, visual arts, and business over the course of the five-day event. The majority of the science, performing arts and visual arts competitions are open to the public. National winners of gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2010 ACT-SO competitions will be announced July 12th in ceremonies at the Kansas City Convention Center.
ACT-SO attracts some of the nation’s most gifted high school students. Its past participants occupy a wide array of careers ranging from executive positions to entertainment. Famed ACT-SO alumni include musician Kanye West, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, filmmaker John Singleton and comedian Anthony Anderson.
“The city of Kansas City and the NAACP Kansas City, Missouri Branch are honored to host the 101st Annual Convention of the NAACP,” said Branch President Anita L. Russell. “As the home of the National Negro League Baseball and the American Jazz Museums, among other venues, Kansas City has been a great source of African American achievement. As the NAACP continues its march into its second century, we are honored that this year’s Convention is right here in Kansas City.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
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