Alice Huffman, President of The California State Conference of the NAACP announced that the organization has scheduled its 22nd Annual Convention in Manhattan Beach at the Marriott Hotel., October 22-25.
The theme for this year’s conference is: “We are 100: Reflections on Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”
The California State Conference of the NAACP meets on an annual basis to review the past year’s activities and to chart a progressive course for the upcoming year. Huffman stated, “Meaningful Reflection on the 100 year history of the NAACP will give our branch presidents and convention delegates a point of reference in setting their sights on the best practices in carrying out the mission and goals of the NAACP.
We will also be focusing on our Youth Session where the best and brightest of our young Black minds will gather to discuss the issues of the day with an emphasis on community organizing on our college campuses and in our communities. We are celebrating the NAACP 100 year anniversary by renewing and re-energizing our talent for organizing our people.”
The California NAACP has always emphasized the importance of voting and becoming involved in the electoral process. To this end, the organization will host the appearance of Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger; gubernatorial candidates, Attorney General Jerry Brown and Mayor Gavin Newsome. Democrat and Republican candidates for State Attorney General, State Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and U.S. Senate will be on hand to meet, greet and make their case before the NAACP audience.
Huffman stated, “However, most importantly we will be discussing critical topics that have a profound effect on African American communities across this country. These issues include: the importance of the census, health disparities in the African American community, education, the federal economic stimulus package, public safety; and the electrifying issue of homophobia in the Black church. We expect to leave the conference with a plan of action that will result in our communities being healthy, strong, economically viable, and energized to fight for civil rights and equal justice that brings us full participation in the American dream.”
Additional guest Speakers scheduled to appear include: Assembly Speaker Karen Bass; the legendary Willie Brown; National President of the NAACP, Ben Jealous; Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson;
Thursday evening, October 22, features a dinner with NAACP branch presidents and a discussion on organizing and energizing chapters with keynote by Reverend Nelson Rivers, Chief of Field Operations for the National NAACP. On Friday, October 23, the morning will be spent discussing the burgeoning health crisis, and the Obama plan as it melds together the various health bills winding their way through Congress. During a morning hearing, the Legislative Black Caucus will be presenting its Healthy Life Initiative for California. The lunch hour will be the center of the annual labor lunch where issues affecting working men and women will be discussed. The Green Economy is a major topic in California and discussion of Diversity in the Green Economy and opportunities for minorities should be a very popular panel. The Saturday workshops will feature topics that hit close to home for the African American community. Delegates will have a choice to attend workshops regarding the all important census count and the resultant redistricting of the legislative districts in the community; wealth building in our communities and what the future holds including a look at the mortgage crisis; education – saving our children from failing schools; the federal stimulus and its affect on the African American community; public safety – the NAACP Smart and Safe Initiative; lastly, lively discussion will take place as the delegates look at homophobia in the Black church. Friday and saturday features very extensive workshops focused on the civic engagement of African American youth and the branches of the NAACP in general. The California NAACP has an extensive program of youth chapters throughout the state and they converge in force yearly at the state conference. The Saturday night dinner will open with Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass bringing remarks on the challenging times in the California legislature. She will be followed by the Honorable Willie L. Brown, former Mayor of San Francisco and former Speaker of the California Assembly, who will present the keynote address.
“The issues we discuss have a profound effect upon our community from the youngest to the oldest of our citizens. This convention brings the NAACP family together along with friends of the NAACP to tackle these issues and create a continuous plan of action,” said President Huffman.