Steadfast & Immovable: 108th NAACP Annual Convention

“Steadfast and Immovable” was the theme that set the stage and the context for the 108th NAACP Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland from July 22- 26, 2017. Cheryl Vines and I were honored to represent our NAACP SLO County branch.

Cheryl and Steve Vines with Mayor Catherine Pugh at the NAACP national convention opening reception

Baltimore, the home of our NAACP National Office and the birthplace of W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, and Kweisi Mfume, is a city that has moved the world. A city that has a black mayor, and a black community struggling with the inner city blues with a prison in the middle of the ghetto, recovering from the riots. But Baltimore also has the skyscrapers, the harbor, and the tourist areas. The eateries are thriving. It is a city of the haves and have-nots.

The convention featured ACT-SO youth competition in the areas of Dance, Dramatics, Entrepreneurship, Filmmaking, Music, Oratory, Poetry, and Performance. Competitions were held at the convention center in Architecture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and 14 other areas on July 20 and 21.

The Convention opening press conference featured Leon W. Russell, Board of Director and Chairman and Derrick Johnson, newly elected Intern-CEO and President of the NAACP. This transitioned into the opening celebration and NAACP Experience (vendor) areas and NAACP Diversity Career Fair. There were workshops, delegate meetings, educational seminars, mass meetings, panel discussions, luncheons, state and regional meetings, dinners, board meetings, receptions, and networking sessions. It was a power-packed experience.

We met most of the staff and the board leadership, and exciting news is that our NAACP SLO County branch will be co-hosting an education workshop sponsored by the national office of the NAACP. It will take place in Monterey, California on August 19 and 20. So, save the dates! We are on the move, we need to staff our committees and then implement our goals and objectives. We need your commitment to make a difference in your community and in the world!

So in conclusion, we are on our way to doing great things including a membership-training program, implementing our community outreach programs, and conducting classes in unlearning racism and internal oppression. It is our mission as a branch of the NAACP to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic, equality of all people, and to eliminate hate and discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.

The NAACP needs you, and your talent. Lets change this world!

Stephen Vines, NAACP SLO County branch president