NAACP 107th Annual Convention - Day One Wrap-up

The NAACP’s return to the “Queen City” kicked off at the opening press conference with welcoming remarks by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, City Manager Harry Black, County Commission President Chris Monzel and Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau President Dan Lincoln.  This year’s NAACP 107th annual convention marks a return to Cincinnati, where the NAACP held its convention in 2008.

NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, Vice Chairman Leon Russell and NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks also delivered remarks, expressing appreciation to Cincinnati for being welcoming hosts and for sharing the mission of the NAACP.

“When you see people from across this city and across this country coming together, it is because they believe deeply that this is not a moment of despair, this is not a moment of hand-wringing worry,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.  “This is a moment of hope, a moment of resilience, a moment of courage, a moment of determination, an NAACP moment.”

Actress, comedian and TV host Sheryl Underwood also spoke. She urged Americans to vote and to work together toward common causes.  “We don’t just need us, we need all the Latinos, we need all the caucasians, we need everybody to join in the NAACP because we fight so that everyone else can remain free,” said Underwood.  “Our lives do matter but our vote is where we enforce why our lives do matter.”

Underwood is the keynote speaker for Sunday’s WIN (Women in NAACP) Empowerment Brunch.

NAACP Vice Chairman Leon Russell outlined the workshops and events happening during this year’s convention, spanning topics from criminal justice and voting rights, to health access and educational opportunity.
Featured speakers at this year’s convention include Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially marked the grand opening of the convention’s Commerce and Industry Show, featuring sponsor exhibits, free health screenings, retailers and an Author’s Pavilion that featured author DeVon Franklin and actress Meagan Good.  Additional authors will be on hand during the convention.

Hundreds of youth from across the country participated in the ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) workshops,a video game jam, and a special screening  of the Disney feature film “Queen of Katwe.”  The ACT-SO competition culminates with an awards ceremony on Sunday.