About the NAACP

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, more commonly referred to as the NAACP is the foremost organization that’s known for protecting the civil rights of African Americans. The organization first formed in 1909 when Moorfield Storey, Mary White Ovington and W.E.B. Du Bois decided to create a formal organization with the intention of ensuring the “political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination”. In the hundred or so years since it launched, the NAACP has acted as an organizational base for many of the biggest names in the quest for equality and protection of the civil rights of African Americans.

The NAACP Annual Convention

Every year this storied organization hosts a convention full of speakers, singers, thinkers and a commerce and industry show that features representatives from every sector imaginable. The intent behind this gathering is to cultivate a space where attendees and  summit leaders can have an exchange of ideas and information as well as begin to foster mutually beneficial ties. There is also a special program for high achieving African American high school students. The Act-So program encourages these young students to immerse themselves in this positive environment and make connections with people that will hopefully serve them throughout their emerging academic and professional lives.

This year marked the 106th Annual Convention, and it lasted from July 11th to July 15th in Baltimore Maryland and featured a host of inspiring voices. From newly appointed Attorney General of the US Loretta Lynch, to singer-songwriter Eric Benét to President Barack Obama, the convention featured an impressive array of talents of every kind!

My Take

When listening to the other speakers at the 106th Annual Convention, It was interesting to hear the diverse issues and potential solutions being offered by concerned citizens and community leaders. While at the conference, I did get a chance to meet some very nice people such as Julian Bond, a great civil rights leader, who passed away soon after I met him. I enjoyed President Barack Obama’s speech, and it was moving to hear him talk about some of the real struggles in the inner city and how critical it is that we try to make changes so these issues don’t continue. During the Convention, I hoped to touch as many lives as possible about the message of You Are A CEO.  The common theme at the event was self-achievement and self-ownership of our success.  I was predominantly focusing on the youth to inspire them to press past some of the common challenges that hold them back so they can realize their full potential.I initially got involved with the NAACP through contacts at Wells Fargo who invited me to participate at some of the events that they sponsored.

My Speech

Below you can see the speech that I delivered at the 106th Annual NAACP Convention.