Houston to host the 93rd NAACP convention

Houston will be the site of the 93rd annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Convention July 6-11 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Surgeon General David Thatcher, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown and NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume will serve as keynote speakers for the 2002 convention themed Freedom Under Fire. More than 15,000 people, including 5,000 NAACP delegates, are expected to attend this year’s event.

Houston was chosen by the NAACP as the host city for this year’s convention because of its many cultures. “Houston has a wonderfully diverse population, making the city an ideal place to host the NAACP convention,” said Kweisi Mfume, President and CEO of the NAACP.

Founded in 1909 by a multiracial group of activists, the NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. The organization consists of people of all races, nationalities and religious denominations who share the same belief – that all men and women are created equal.

Attendees have the opportunity to take part in a commerce and industry show, a retailer expo and a health fair. In addition, NAACP convention attendees will be voting on new officers for 2002-2003.

Houston is very proud of the culture and diversity we offer not only to our residents, but also to visitors to our city,” said Gerard J. “Jordy” Tollett, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are looking forward to hosting the honored guests, delegates and other attendees In Houston during the NAACP Convention.”

Other highlights of the convention include the awarding of the Springarn Medal to U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-Atlanta), a veteran of the civil rights movement. The Springarn Medal is the highest honor awarded by the NAACP.

In addition to convention activities, many Houston-area youth will be participating in the 25th National Afro-Academic Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). This branch of the NAACP is one of the only programs that recognizes, rewards and showcases academic and artistic excellence among African-American high school students. The competitions in sciences, math, humanities, performing arts, visual arts and business are the culmination of a year-long enrichment program.

For more information regarding the NAACP and the upcoming national Conference, please contact the NAACP at 410-580-5780 or Rhonda Stone with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau at 713-437-5236 or via e-mail at rstone@ghcvb.org.