Meeting for a week in Los Angeles for its 102nd national convention, the NAACP marched in solidarity with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, heard rousing oratory from Chairman Roslyn Brock
and President Benjamin Todd Jealous
, took a history lesson on the meaning of the current battle from North Carolina State President Rev. William Barber, and met in dozens of workshops that covered topics from "Why we must overcome homophobia" to "Environmental and climate justice" to "Reviving the prophetic relationship with communities of faith."
"The state of the NAACP is strong," Jealous told a plenary session. He cited three years in a row of growing membership numbers, an end to fiscal crisis at the national headquarters, and an on-line activist base--"starting primarily with young people"--of over 510,000. Close to 2,500 voting delegates and alternates registered for and attended the convention, but approximately 10,000 walked through the doors at one time or another, according to an NAACP spokesperson. Many went to the NAACP's commerce expo, and the annual Freedom Fund dinner was packed wall to wall. This writer sat at Table 127, and the numbers went up from there.