By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
MOUNT LAUREL – Nkechi Taifa, author, CEO of the Taifa Group and senior fellow for the Center of Justice at Columbia University, will be the keynote speaker at the virtual NAACP New Jersey State Conference Convention on Saturday, Sept. 18-19.
Taifa, one of the foremost legal minds on reparations, will make the case for the need of such action during her keynote address Saturday evening, according to Marcus Sibley, the New Jersey State Conference communication chairman said.
"She's an attorney, and she will be making a case for reparations," Sibley told Front Runner New Jersey about the keynote that will happen on Saturday. "We're excited to this keynote because she will be talking about what people can do right now. Some conventions are for show. Our conventions are about giving out information and education that you can take to the streets tomorrow. That is what [Taifa] will give us."
Sibley said the New Jersey State Conference has always taken a great deal of pride in given conference attendees strong keynote speakers, whether it former Black Panther Party leader Bobby Seale to activist Shaun King.
Along with the keynote speech on Saturday, there will be a housing presentation made by the New Jersey NAACP state housing chairman along with other leaders around the state.
Housing and evictions have become a hot topic during the coronavirus pandemics and efforts by the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep people in their homes and apartments during this period.
Sibley said NAACP New Jersey State Conference President Richard T. Smith will give the president's address Saturday morning after the opening plenary session. He said online workshops covering health and the Black press will take place as well.
"Our workshop with the Black press is really important because we have to make it very clear to people the importance of Black media and the importance of supporting Black institutions. With everything happening with the Internet, we need those reliable sources of information."
Silbey said another highlight for Saturday will be the presentation of ACT-SO winners during the evening program. ACT-SO. ACT-SO, which stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, is a nationwide program put on by the NAACP.
High school students from around the country compete against each other in a wide-range of scholarly events, from visual arts and business to performing and culinary arts and performances. Students compete at the local and state level up to the national finals held before the start of the national NAACP convention annually.
"We have students doing different art fields, like singing, oratorical, playing instruments, so it's going to feature some really talented students," Sibley said. "You will see the performances the students actually took part in during the ACT-SO competition. We're really looking forward to that."
Sibley also serves as the New Jersey State Conference's environmental and climate justice chair and the New Jersey Progress Equitable Energy Coalition chairman. He said on Sunday, the environmental and climate justice presentation will drive home why African Americans should engage in the climate change fight.
"It's going to be a very dramatic presentation," Sibley said. "We will have representation from our governing bodies when it comes to the environment. We're going have a presentation by the Department of Environmental Protection Agency with Deputy Commissioner Olivia Glenn. We will have a presentation on environmental justice.
Glenn previously served as New Jersey's director of Parks and Forestry and deputy commissioner at New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information on the upcoming state conference, email: email@example.com, or call Marcus Sibley at (856) 437-0259 or Richelle Lee: at (609) 478-3572. Crystal Charley-Sibley is the convention chair.
QUESTION: Should environmental justice play a bigger role in the Civil Rights movement? Why or why not? Answer in the comment section.
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