By Special to the Daily World
BALTIMORE, MD – The NAACP Youth & College Division will celebrate its 75th anniversary in Los Angeles this July as part of the 102nd Annual NAACP National Convention. Running from July 23-28, the program will feature workshops on key issues facing the African-American community, including juvenile justice, childhood obesity, climate justice and HIV/AIDS.
“My experience coming up through the Youth & College Division helped shape me into the leader I am today,” noted NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “I am so proud of what this division has accomplished over the last 75 years and look forward to all that they will achieve in the next 75. I am excited for all of the outstanding sessions and events on this year’s conference schedule.”
Formed in 1936 after Juanita Jackson’s passionate appeal at the National Convention to create a youth department, the Youth & College Division has been a cornerstone of the NAACP’s success. From sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement to voter registration efforts during the 2008 elections, the division has not only ushered in a spirit of activism, but has also served as a training ground for future NAACP leaders, including Chairman Roslyn M. Brock and President Benjamin Todd Jealous.
“The Youth and College Division is a vital and vibrant part of the NAACP,” added NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “It is with their enthusiasm, energy and ingenuity that the NAACP will continue to grow and thrive for another 75 years. I look forward to celebrating this diamond anniversary with them in Los Angeles.”
“This is a milestone year for the Youth & College Division, “said Stefanie Brown, director of the Youth & College Division and National Field Director. “The youth movement has played such a vital role in the NAACP for the last 75 years. We plan to continue that tradition by tackling the important issues facing our community.”
In addition to the workshops, the Youth & College Division will host a public mass meeting to address the media’s effects on youth of color; present a production in honor of its 75th anniversary; and will close the convention with the Juanita Jackson Mitchell Youth Freedom Fund Dinner. Special guests during the week include: Amber Riley (cast of “Glee”), Tristan Wilds (cast of “90210”), Tyrone Willingham (former NCAA football coach) and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (Columbia University professor/author). Hundreds of NAACP youth will also partner with L.A.’s Midnight Mission and Yum! Brands Inc. on Monday, July 25 to feed thousands of homeless men, women and children in the area.
“Giving back to our community is a cornerstone of our organization,” noted Brown. “We are looking forward to partnering with Yum! Brands Inc. and the Midnight Mission to make a difference in the Los Angeles community and spread the importance of fighting hunger around the country.”