NAACP to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

President Obama expected to address the convention

0609_naacp11In keeping one of the many promises made on the campaign trail last year, President Barack Obama will address the NAACP at its centennial celebration in July, the organization said at a news conference Tuesday.

While speaking at the NAACP’s 99th annual convention the then junior senator from Illinois and presidential hopeful pledged that if elected, he would attend the 100-year anniversary celebration, and the now president is expected to keep his word.

Flanked by NAACP President Ben Jealous and New York State Conference President Hazel N. Dukes, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the venerated civil rights group back to its birth place.

“The NAACP still fights for all of us today by working to make the American dream a reality for everyone,” Bloomberg said at Cooper Square, the site of the NAACP’s first public meeting in 1909.

The conference, which is scheduled to run from July 11-16, is expected to attract more than 2,000 youth alone. It will also bring in $5 million to $7 million in direct revenue, Bloomberg said, a welcome amount as the city faces mounting budgetary issues.

“When we set out [to hold this celebration] we said it would take about $5 million to put it on,” Dukes said. “I am pleased to announce we’ve almost met our goal,” she added, while thanking city officials and Earl G. Graves Sr. Chairman and Publisher of Black Enterprise, for their fundraising efforts and support.

Bloomberg closed out the ceremony presenting a plaque honoring the organization’s dedication to fighting discrimination to Jealous, Duke and other members of the NAACP.

In recognition of the tough economic climate the NAACP will host a diversity job fair. In addition, Gen. Colin Powel and Attorney General Eric Holder are also expected to attend the celebration, which will be held at the New York Hilton.

Registration fees for the conference range from $15 for a daily admission for youth to $100 for an adult full registration. Tickets for luncheons are extra. Click here for complete registration information.

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