NAACP Leadership 500 Summit 10th Anniversary Recap

The 10th annual NAACP Leadership 500 Summit was held in Naples, Florida, at the exquisite Waldorf Astoria Resort over the Memorial Day weekend, May 22-25, 2014.  Amidst an alluring backdrop of the Gulf waters, attendees found the program inside even more intriguing.
This year’s event embodied the vision of its founders providing in depth discussion with some of the social justice and corporate America’s leaders on an array of topic from leadership development to media and technology to branding to economic empowerment, to name a few.  Panelists began the sessions with an overview of their work then fell into dynamic discussions providing insight to the young professionals in attendance on how to advance their careers and make themselves into social justice advocates within the corporate world.  Each session was filled to capacity with young people eager to learn more, to network and to grow professionally.  One notable panel included the Advocacy in Sports Youth Luncheon where speakers tackled tough questions regarding the dilemma of paying collegiate athletes in a discussion of amateurism versus professional level athletics.  The panels proved the maturation of Leadership 500 into an elite symposium of young professionals working to advance social justice through their daily work.  True to its mission discussion also incorporated ways to use these ideas within the unit, state conference and national structure of the NAACP.  
The NAACP’s ability to engage young professionals in dialogue around career development that incorporates social activism is remarkable.  The nation’s oldest civil rights organization once again leads a new frontier as activists leave empowered with new ideas sure to change the professional landscape.  If you have not yet had a chance to attend this powerful event, be sure to add Leadership 500 to your list of professional development tasks.  The networking is superb with leaders and social justice advocates from around the country in attendance.  The knowledge and expertise within the three day event will be hard to find anywhere else in such an intimate setting.  The discussion in each session is thought provoking for individuals and organizations alike pushing beyond comfort levels and into arenas for growth and development.  This is certainly a must attend event for any young professional looking to push themselves to the next level.