Music legend Prince donated a portion of the proceeds from his Baltimore, MD Rally for Peace concert to NAACP ACT-SO high school achievement program. Other recipients are the city’s YouthWorks and OneBaltimore programs.
From July 8, 2015 – July 15, 2015, the 106th Annual NAACP National Convention will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The theme of this year’s conference is Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice. We are calling for student volunteers, who have a passion for social justice and civil rights, to assist the NAACP National Communications and Digital Media teams throughout the duration of the conference.
Our team seeks responsible, reliable volunteers, with a professional demeanor who can be counted on to assist with a variety of tasks and fulfill on their commitment. Volunteers are needed to support the NAACP communications department in providing administrative support and writing support and the digital media department for blogging and photography.
All students who have the interest and time to commit are welcome to volunteer for administrative tasks. Students with the interest and time along with experience in writing, blogging and photography will be given preference for press writing and digital media volunteer opportunities.
All students who are interested must sign up online here, and indicate the days they are available (we ask volunteers to commit to a full day -- 7.5 hours) along with attaching their resume.
Students are encouraged to sign-up for as many days/shifts as they can. All shifts will be assigned with breaks in mind. Volunteer assignments will be made on a first come, first served basis and every attempt will be made to assign volunteers to a task that they have expressed interest in.
• Will receive a conference bag (in appreciation of your time)
• College credit
• Access to the NAACP President and CEO speech; NAACP Chairman of the NAACP Board speech and access to the Job Fair and Commerce and Industry Show.
- PSA Release on radio, ongoing during the month of May
- New Born Suspect concept video to be released
- Criminal Justice press advisories will be released for trainings in local areas
Fourteen students participants wait to be announced at the Bloomington-Normal NAACP fifth Annual ACT-SO Awards ceremony at Illinois State University's Hancock Stadium Club on Sunday. | Photo: LORI ANN COOK-NEISLER, The Pantagraph
Ollie Barnes, ACT-SO co-chair; Jashala Wilson, Phoenix High Schoo; Miles Pruitt, Kalamazoo Central High School; Jamila McKenzie, Portage Northern High School; Charles Warfield, president of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP; Martell Gardner, Phoenix High School, and Janelle Farrakhan, ACT-SO chair.
Chattanooga NAACP ACT-SO awarded out over a dozen medals to local Academic Olympians.
Competitors who were awarded gold medals will travel to the 37th Annual NAACP National ACT-SO Competition, which will be held in Philadelphia, from July 9-12.
Youth from across the Atlanta area took part in Atlanta NAACP's ACT-SO Culinary Arts Competition. Our partners, Sodexo, shared these great moments on Twitter.
The TSU Allstars of Teens Step Up Inc. practice for their dance performance at the ACT-SO Competition in Newark, New Jersey. 4/11/2015 (Robert Paniconi | NJ Advance Media)
Tariq Harris was in no shape to do much of anything, schoolwise, after his grandmother died in January.
Not his artwork, not even his love for animated film projects. The 18-year-old student at Arts High School in Newark even bombed two midterm exams.
"The grief was holding me back," he says.
Art teacher Kennis Fairfax encouraged Harris to join an NAACP enrichment program that he thought could help the young man tap back into his talent, as well as cope with his loss.
ACT-SO -- the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics - gives students like Harris the motivation to succeed and an opportunity to showcase their gifts in the arts, humanities, sciences and business.
The name maybe long, but what it has done for the past 26 years for African-American high school students across the state is worth every syllable.
"I like being around people who are gifted," says Alexis Green, a 19-year-old vocalist from Irvington. "I like the energy. We're youth and we're actually doing something positive."
The exposure is huge. The relationships the students build are lasting. The excellence they pursue is honed in local chapters, for which students meet weekly and practice with volunteer mentors on their discipline of study.
ACT-SO is known as the Olympics of the mind, and is true to its mission. The organization had Central High School in Newark buzzing with creativity and intellect on Saturday, as some 170 students competed for a chance to advance to its national competition in Philadelphia.
Kayla Childs, a senior at New Brunswick Highschool, plays an original composition at the ACT-SO Competition in Newark, New Jersey. 4/11/2015 (Robert Paniconi | NJ Advance Media)
In the stairwell leading toward the lower level of the building, you could hear the strains of a violin being played by Quatir Coleman, of Camden. The 15-year-old was practicing Bach Sonata No. 2 in A minor: Allegro.
On the landing above him, another member of his chapter, Naima Hazzard, was holding her cell phone close to ear, singing "Skinny" by Birdy. Later in the day, the 16-year-old singer performed a classical piece -- "Nina" by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.
All over the building, there was something going on to stimulate the senses. On the second floor, there were sculptures of found objects, papier mache and clay; paintings using oil, water colors and acrylic; drawings made with colored pencils, pencil and charcoal.
Different genres of dance -- from ballet to modern - were being performed in the auditorium. In classrooms, there was poetry, short story and playwriting. There also were presentations in photography, filmmaking, architecture, the sciences and mathematics.
Kevin Carolina, of Piscataway High School, was waiting in the hallway, pacing, studying his mathematical material: "Racial Profiling in African-American Men: A Statistical Study."
"One of the main things I like about this program is being able to develop your craft more and to be able to encounter different people, different professionals and to develop stronger relationships," the 15-year-old says, "and to also be surrounded by young African-American individuals who have the same goals in life as me, which is to be successful.''
He was in good company, too.
Megan Hill-Glover, of Bridgewater-Raritan High School, and Camila Morocho, of Science Park High School in Newark, had heady topics on their plates.
First, research into the roles of the lipids in the pathogenesis of accelerated atherosclerosis in HIV-infected individuals.
This went straight over my head until Morocho, 18, explained that her experiment proves that atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of arteries over time because of plaque, happens much quicker in people with HIV.
Thanks, young lady.
Then Hill-Glover, 17, walked me down her scientific aisle with this number: The differing bacterial growth colonies between organic and nonorganic poultry meat.
She broke it down this way, telling me that her experiment proves there is larger bacterial growth on organic poultry because farmers use chicken feed that is lacking in pesticides and herbicides. But that's not a problem, she says, because the bacteria goes away when the meat is cooked. The problem, she says, is the nonorganic meat. It has antibacterial strains that can affect how antibiotics work in our bodies.
(L to R) Shyann Felix, Siarra Grace, Mariam Cannon, and Mikayla James do vocal exercises in the halls before performing at the ACT-SO Competition in Newark, New Jersey. 4/11/2015 (Robert Paniconi | NJ Advance Media)
The level of concentration and commitment to their interests is amazing. And the same holds true for the volunteers who come year after year to judge and revel in this talent.
Blake Stoner is a sophomore at Morehouse College. Samantha Richards is a junior at Clark Atlanta University. Credit Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio
As several Ferguson officials resigned this week, Atlanta college students under the direction of the NAACP spent their days meeting the city’s residents.
In four days they registered more than 150 Ferguson and Jennings residents to vote, and collected contact information for another 3,000.
According to Atlanta NAACP president Richard Rose, that information will be used to help get out the vote for the April 7th municipal elections.
“It doesn’t count unless you pull the lever or punch the card or whatever the voting apparatus is. You only can participate if you go and vote,” Rose said.
Less than 12 percent of Ferguson Township’s registered voters participated in last year’s municipal elections. Ferguson Township includes other municipalities in addition to Ferguson. County-wide, the turnout was just over 12 percent.
Rose says that while demonstrations are part of political action, the visiting students didn’t attend protests while in Ferguson because that wasn’t the purpose of their trip.
For Clark Atlanta University student Samantha Richards, the week was an opportunity to see the Ferguson beyond the headlines. She said she has been inspired by the people she meant.
“I mean, there was not one person whose door we stopped at in knocking on residents doors that did not give us encouragement,” Richards said.
She said the highlight of the trip was visiting area high schools on Thursday, where she was able to give some of that inspiration back, and encourage the high school students to go beyond voting.
She said she told the students that “once you do vote your job is not done….Now it’s up to you to make sure you get the result that you want, by holding your elected council members and representatives accountable.”
Morehouse College student Blake Stoner said the work they did registering voters is only the beginning, and he wished they could have done more.
“It is good to register people to vote, but if you don’t give them the motivation to vote, they just have another right that they’re not going to use,” Stoner said. “So we did help. But more people are going to have to come. More people are going to have to do more work.”
All told, about 50 students participated in the alternative spring break organized by the Atlanta NAACP.