By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor
Vice President Kamala Harris will keynote the 113th annual National N.A.A.C.P. Convention Monday, in Atlantic City, giving convention delegates both a progress report and a view of the road ahead for the Biden Administration.
N.A.A.C.P. President, Derrick Johnson announced Harris’ presence at a press conference held at the Atlantic City convention site.
“We are honored to have the Vice President join us in this critical and pivotal moment for our democracy,” Johnson said.
“The Vice President has been a steady voice in the fight for voting rights, reproductive rights, and other assaults by the far-right on our freedoms,” Johnson continued.
Top among the N.A.A.C.P.’s agenda items, are continuing the fight for Congress to pass national voting rights legislation and the recent Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, thus ending federal protection for abortion.
“Despite enormous wins for representation, our civil rights remain under attack. This year’s convention will convene some of our brightest minds to cement a path forward,” Johnson said.
In addition to Harris, the N.A.A.C.P. convention will host several other members of the Biden administration as well as members of Congress.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge Monday afternoon address participants and answer questions on Racial Equity in Housing and the Racial Wealth Gap. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh will also address the convention at the Monday afternoon session.
Representative Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), U.S. Congress Majority Whip will receive the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor given by the N.A.A.C.P. on July 20, at a ceremony on the final day of the Convention. Clyburn, a lifelong member of the N.A.A.C.P., said the organization shaped his understanding of public service.
“From the moment of being elected president of my NAACP Youth Council (Sumter, SC) at the age of 12, I was taught that we all have roles to play in our nation’s pursuit of perfection,” Clyburn said.
“I look forward to living long enough and serving well enough to prove myself worthy of joining the ranks of previous Spingarn Medal recipients that include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Justice Thurgood Marshall; and my good friend, Congressman John Lewis,” he added.
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are expected to address the convention, welcoming attendees to their home state. The N.A.A.C.P. convention was last held in New Jersey in 1955.
More than 8,000 delegates to the N.A.A.C.P. convention will work on agendas to address various issues facing the Black community including race and justice, education innovation, environmental and climate justice, an inclusive economy, health and well-being, the next generation of leaders, advocacy, and litigation
In addition to hearing from the nation’s political leadership, the convention will host a job fair, continuing legal education and a host of events for youth and young adult leadership. N.A.A.C.P. convention planners estimate attendees will supply an estimated $10 million boost to the Atlantic City resort and Atlantic City itself during the event concluding July 20.
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