NAACP national convention in Boston: What you need to know

BOSTON — The 114th NAACP National Convention began in Boston’s Seaport District on Wednesday and will continue through Monday.

The convention had earlier been planned in Boston a few years back, but didn’t happen due to the pandemic, Leon Russell, NAACP Chairman of the Board, earlier said. It will be the first NAACP national convention held in the city in decades, since 1982.

“Come through the convention, be a part of what we do at the NAACP,” said Russell while meeting with city leaders in June. “We are the national’s oldest and largest and boldest and probably, proudest, civil rights organization. We are that grassroots organization that attempts to impact public policy across this country, and so we are so happy, so happy that we’ll be here.”

Organizers have set a theme of “Thriving Together,” which will be the focus of this year’s convention.

The five-day convention will include more than 80 guest speakers who will discuss a “variety of hot-button topics impacting the Black community,” according to the NAACP.

The list of speakers includes Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. House of Representatives Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, retired Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine Hines, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, rapper Meek Mill, actors Adrian Holmes, Gail Bean and Kadeem Hardison and television hosts Sheryl Underwood and Elaine Welteroth.

Harris will be traveling to Boston on Saturday to deliver remarks at the convention, the White House confirmed on Tuesday.

“Each year, the Convention fosters an intergenerational approach to advocacy, connecting activists, allies, and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds through main stage discussions, luncheons, and the experience hall. Together, they are united in their commitment to ensuring the Black community thrives together,” the NAACP said.

The convention will include the 2023 “Thriving Together” Cinematic Shorts Competition, which will “provide six filmmakers/activists the opportunity to tell their stories of social justice,” according to the NAACP. It will also include “ACT-SO” programs, which stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics, during which high school students showcase their skills and talents in visual arts and business to performing and culinary arts.

Events will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at 415 Summer St. in the Seaport. Attendees may take the T to the World Trade Center stop on the SL1 and SL2 lines. The convention is also about a 17-minute walk from South Station.

The convention is open to NAACP delegates and the general public. Tickets for the convention for the general public (as observers who are not voting) are $250 for adults and $110 for youths if purchased in advance and $275 for adults and $135 for youths if purchased on site.

Daily tickets, which may be purchased on site, are $100 for adults and $50 for youths.

Anyone from the general public with registration questions may get help by email at NAACPConvention@ConferenceDirect.com or by phone at 888-980-8839. Support is available Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information on the convention schedule, visit the NAACP website.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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