The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Centennial Convention convened in New York City, July 11 -16, 2009. It was preceded by the NAACP National Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) a youth initiative of the NAACP.The ACT-SO competition was held July 8 -11th and culminated in an Award Ceremony on July 12th which was broadcast live on the web. Talented young people from 26 disciplines took their place in history by being recognized as national winners in the NAACP ACT-SO competitions. National medalists from ACT-So Altadena: Bronze, Quran Shaheed - Instrumental Contemporary; Silver, Adama Ideozu - Dance. Both National winners receive monetary awards and laptop computers. In addition, Quran Shaheed received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music summer program in Boston, MA. The competition provides the youth with a sense of what it takes to compete, succeed and the importance of obtaining viable skills.
The primary purpose of the Convention was to establish policies and programs of action. The NAACP's Annual Convention is the largest gathering of its kind in the country. An estimated 10,000 members, delegates and visitors were in New York for six days of informative workshops. Results of regional elections named executive officer Barbara Bigby, President NAACP Altadena, as Teller for Region 1 - State of California NAACP.
Among the many highlights, convention goers heard from the 44th President of the United States of America Barack Obama. President Obama's speech marked a historic first American President of African descent standing on the shoulders of giants to address the country's largest civil rights group.
President Obama paid tribute to the black leadership in the civil rights battles of the '60s and '70s, recognizing the NAACP's place in history and continued focus on economic and social justice issues. President Obama's speech was interrupted repeatedly by applause, cries of "Yes we can!"and standing ovations.
For more information on the National and ACT-SO Conventions, please visit the NAACP Altadena Branch General Meeting. Event location: Altadena Community Center, 730 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, California 91001. Date: August 27, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Cost: Free. Contact: Branch office at 626-794-7990.