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Gary NAACP represented at the National Conference

July was a busy month for the Gary NAACP Branch. It was capped off with a delegation of over 35 of its members attending the 110th National Convention of the NAACP in Detroit, Michigan.

Those attending included officers, executive committee members, chairs and co-chairs of committees, ACT-SO participants and their adult leaders.

Written and verbal reports by delegates were shared at the meeting on August 8. To experience direct observations of activities and to hear some of the speakers at the Conference, visit the national website at

One highlight of the Convention was an NAACP Resolution to the U.S. Congress presented by Congressman Al Green, (D) TX, to impeach the current president of the United States.

The Resolution was unanimously passed by a vote from NAACP delegates. Gary delegates were among the hundreds of delegates who voted in favor of this Resolution.

Before the end of the meeting that day, the Resolution had been announced to the media by the NAACP National President, Derrick Johnson. It was headline news.

Nine Democratic candidates and one Republican candidate, Bob Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, spoke directly to the body of the Convention. Each presidential candidate also responded to specific questions submitted directly from NAACP units country-wide. April Ryan, White House news correspondent facilitated this forum.

Stacy Abrams, whose declaration that the people of Georgia were the real losers in her quest to become Georgia’s governor during the last election, was a keynote speaker.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, and other dignitaries, performers, radio and TV personalities were also in attendance.

PRESIDENT STEPHEN MAYS and Gary Branch ACT-SO Bronze Medalist (Modern Dance), Artrell Brown.

Of  the Gary ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) youth attendees performing at the convention, Artrell Brown won the Bronze Medal in the category of Modern Dance.

Other attendees in the NAACP’s ACT-SO competition were Naomi Martin, Classical Instrumental Instrument/Piano; Imani Butts, Photography; Terrell Streeter Drawing; Michael Green, Music Vocal Classical; and Maia Crowley Dance, Contemporary and Traditional. Jeana Payne is the Director of the Gary NAACP ACT-SO program.

At the August 8 meeting, the 2019-20, $1,000 scholarship recipients were announced. Scholarships were originally announced at the 54th Annual Gary NAACP Life Membership Banquet.

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THE NAACP’S Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a year-long achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

Scholarships were awarded to Amya Aviles, Merrillville High School, attending Ivy Tech Community College; Tiffany Diane Ceaser, Calumet Christian School, attending Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN; Cheyenne Figueroa, Merrillville High School attending Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; and Cody Anderson Leslie, Portage High School, attending Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Also receiving scholarships were Tasha Neal, Merrillville High School, attending University of Indianapolis; Bre’ana Quarles, River Forest High School, attending Indiana University Northwest; Faith N. Spencer, Hobart High School, attending Purdue University West Lafayette, IN; and Alex Termini, Hobart High School, attending Purdue University Northwest.

Gary native Tasha Neal, a student at the University of Indianapolis was the Gary NAACP representative at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA this summer. Neal was one of 300 students chosen nationally to live on the George Mason campus for one week. She took part in academic and practice activities while earning college credit.

Seminars, interactive exercises, classroom simulations, news reporting, interviews with Congressional representatives and with CEOs of international companies and with photo-journalists were among the highlights of her stay in the Washington, DC area.

Networking opportunities will follow Tasha throughout her time in college and for the remainder of her professional career. The Gary NAACP is proud to have been a part of this young woman’s achievement.

Gary NAACP meetings are held the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Stephen Mays is Branch President.

For more information and to remain current on all local, state and national activities visit Gary NAACP on Facebook.

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