NAACP convention draws prominent speakers

The Philadelphia Tribune | 7/20/2015, 10:36 a.m.
The NAACP’s 106th annual convention is drawing a slate of notable public officials. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address ...
From left: President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton address the 106th annual NAACP Convention in Philadelphia, July 15. Tom Gralish of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Matt Rourke

PHILADELPHIA (NNPA) – The NAACP’s 106th annual convention is drawing a slate of notable public officials. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address Tuesday afternoon at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Obama’s remarks centered around reforming the criminal justice system.

This marks the second time that he addressed the NAACP as president of the United States.

Former President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation, addressed the convention’s final plenary session Wednesday morning at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“President Clinton demonstrated his pragmatic leadership while in the White House. Today, he continues his work as a change-making leader through the Clinton Foundation. As the country is faced with challenges, we look forward to hearing the former president lend his perspective on some of the most important civil rights challenges of our time during the 106th annual convention,” NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said.

Clinton has addressed the NAACP’s national convention on multiple occasions.

“President Clinton comes to the NAACP’s 106th annual convention as not merely a humanitarian or a former president but as a friend. Whether advancing civil rights nationally or combating human rights challenges globally, President Clinton has demonstrated the values of the NAACP over an arc of public service that is both long and wide,” Brock said.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch spoke Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. during the Spingarn Dinner/Freedom Fund Banquet.

During a plenary session Monday, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., discussed a bill aimed at steering people from incarceration by offering more education. He discussed how investing in pre-K can help children earn more later in life and reduce the likelihood that a child will one day encounter the criminal justice system.

There are various events that are open to the public including a career fair held Tuesday from 12 to 6 p.m. Hiring managers will be on hand to answer questions about opportunities in: hospitality, food service, government, technology, banking, finance, sales, customer service, energy and retail.

The removal of the Confederate battle flag from state capitol grounds has caused the NAACP to lift its economic boycott of South Carolina over the weekend. The civil rights group voted to end the 15-year economic boycott against the state during its 106th annual convention.

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks said the organization’s decision to lift its economic boycott on the state of South Carolina comes 15 years after exerting consistent and aggressive economic pressure on state lawmakers to bring the well-known symbol of racial oppression down.

“The removal of this emblem of hate is not only a victory for the state of South Carolina and the families of the nine students of scripture who lost their lives in a historic church, but it is a victory for the NAACP and the nation as we all work together to a forge a more perfect union,” Brooks said in a press statement.

“In no way does removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina fix the problems of our nation that are rooted in racism and bigotry, but the flag’s removal is a very important step in ceasing to glorify a bygone era in which African Americans were treated as second class citizens. This is a vindication of the grassroots advocacy of the NAACP.”