The NAACP’s annual national meeting starts this weekend in Philadelphia.The gathering comes at a volatile time for civil rights in the United States.
With the Confederate flag now removed from the Capitol grounds in South Carolina, the NAACP meeting in Philadelphia intends to takes up the civil rights organization’s future.
The convention will not be just a lot of talk, said NAACP president and CEO Cornell Brooks.He promises that leaders will “come together to formulate, to plan, to organize, to strategize, to bring about a fundamental change the course of history in these United States. Why? Because we are the NAACP and this is what we endeavor to do, and this is what we have done in the course of 106 years.”The convention’s theme is “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice,” said chairwoman Roslyn Brock.
“We’re here to insure that everyone has unfettered access to the ballot box. We’re here to stop the use of excessive force by the police to unarmed black men and women in our community,” she said Friday. “We’re here, my friends, to end racial profiling and to improve access to high-quality, affordable health care to all Americans.”
Brooks said policing will get special attention.”One of the things that we have supported is a fundamental change in policing that means a focus on training, smoking out the biases that police officers have,” he said. “Building up community capital, building up community trust. So interactions are less charged, less stressed, less likely to lead to violence.”President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton will both address the group, but all candidates for president have been left off the speakers list.
The convention continues through Wednesday.