Cornell William Brooks
June 22, 2016
BALTIMORE, MD - As the nation prepares for the 2016 presidential election this November, the NAACP 107th Annual Convention, held in Cincinnati from July 16-20, will bring together thousands of members and attendees under the theme “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count.” The NAACP’s Annual Convention will feature workshops, discussions and speakers highlighting voter education, voter protection and voter mobilization. A full convention schedule can be found here; Members of the press can register for convention credentials here.
This fall, voters will head to the polls for what will be the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In continuance of tradition, the NAACP has invited the Democratic and Republican presumptive nominees, Donald J. Trump and Hilary R. Clinton, to address NAACP membership and attendees at the convention. The convention overlaps with the 2016 Republican National Convention scheduled July 18-21 in nearby Cleveland.
“This year, our country is facing the 2016 presidential election without the protection of major provisions of the Voting Rights Act,” said NAACP Board Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “Under the banner, ‘Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count,’ the NAACP looks forward to returning to Cincinnati and convening thousands of civil rights, human rights and social justice activists to make sure we educate, motivate and get people to the polls this fall. The stakes are too high to be complacent.”
“This year’s presidential election comes amid an organized campaign to limit access to the ballot in the South as well as in pivotal swing states like Ohio,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “The ballot box is our most powerful tool to ensure our voices are heard clearly and loudly. The NAACP Annual Convention will give our members and units an opportunity to gather our strength to fight back against efforts to suppress the vote and ensure that the people will be heard on Election Day.”
“Civic engagement and turning out the vote must be at the forefront of our work as we move towards the presidential election this fall,” said NAACP Vice Chairman Leon Russell. “We thank Dan Lincoln, Jason Dunn and Cincinnati USA for pulling together all their resources to ensure a successful return to Cincinnati.”
The NAACP Annual Convention will also include celebrity appearances, community-based events, seminars with top activists, and the national competition of the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program. Other highlights of the convention include the Commerce and Industry Show where attendees can enjoy a wide range of vendors, artists, health screenings, book signings, and entertainment. The convention will begin with an opening press conference on Saturday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m., followed by the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Commerce and Industry Show at 11:00 a.m.
The NAACP 107th Annual Convention marks a return to the city by the NAACP in a presidential election year. The 2008 convention in Cincinnati drew thousands of visitors, as well as appearances by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.
“We are honored to be hosting the NAACP’s most prestigious event amidst an unprecedented summer of multicultural events and meetings in the region,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “Cincinnati’s energy is contagious right now, and both residents and visitors will be part of the excitement as we welcome attendees with entertainment, local artwork and live music throughout the downtown area.”
“This summer’s NAACP Annual Convention will bring our nation’s civic, faith and thought leaders together in Cincinnati during a critical presidential year,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “Hosting this convention offers Cincinnati a valuable opportunity to share our community’s story of progress – a story of valuing diversity and celebrating the African American heritage and culture that so deeply defines this region.”
This year also marks a major milestone for the NAACP’s Youth and College Division which will commemorate its 80th anniversary at the convention as a part of a year-long celebration. Through workshops, luncheons and forums, youth members will discuss ways to effectively harness the power of their voices in order to engage in civil rights advocacy. The celebration will culminate with an 80th anniversary gala and concert featuring some of the generation’s up and coming stars.
“We in Ohio are getting a great opportunity in having the NAACP National Convention here once again,” said Sybil McNabb, president of the Ohio State Conference. “Last time, it was a great success and since then, we have made great strides in social justice. This year, there are so many issues that continue to affect our community and we, in Ohio, are ready to rise to the occasion in both hosting this event and joining the national NAACP in its ongoing battle for civil rights.”
“We are incredibly excited that the convention is returning to Cincinnati and are equally excited in anticipating a large turn-out,” said Robert Richardson, president, Cincinnati NAACP. “This year, the Spingarn Medal is being awarded to the Honorable Judge Nathaniel Jones and it’s especially wonderful to be a part of that deserved recognition as well.”
The NAACP Annual Convention will culminate with the presentation of the 101st NAACP Spingarn Medal on Wednesday, July 20th. This year’s recipient of the prestigious award is Ohio native and retired Judge Nathaniel R. Jones. The award recognizes Jones’ lifelong commitment to equality and civil rights. Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, served as general counsel for the NAACP from 1969 until he was appointed by President Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1979. Tickets to the Spingarn Dinner can be purchased on the NAACP Convention website here.
More information on the NAACP’s National Convention can be found at www.naacpconvention.org. The NAACP 107th Annual Convention is sponsored by: JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, UPS, GM/UAW, Bank of America, Chevron, Fifth Third Bank, Ford, Walmart, AT&T, BMW, Coca Cola, CVS, Fedex, Food Lion, Key Bank, McDonalds, Nissan, State Farm, Toyota, Anheuser Busch, BBVA, AARP, Eli Lilly, Geico, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hershey, The History Channel, Macy’s, Marriott, Miller Coors, Pfizer, RWJF, Roadside, Attraction, T-Mobile, Verizon, Honda, Paramount, Blank Rome, LLP, CBS, MGM, PhRMa, Caesars, and Facebook.