Memphis NAACP: Our Lives Matter

Memphis NAACP: Our Lives Matter
NAACP members from across the country convened in Cincinnati, OH last week to address the critical issues of today, criminal justice, jobs and wages, voting rights and political representation, health and education. The Memphis delegation included Jesse H. Turner, Jr., Madeleine Taylor, Velma Lois Jones, Dr. Freda Williams and NAACP Youth Council members, Essence Davis, (President), Regine Miller, Nadia Coleman, Rashad Oliver and Jawon Wilson. Other Memphians attending the conference included National NAACP Board Members, Bishop and Mrs. William H.Graves, and Rabbi Micah Greenstein. National President Cornell William Brooks and Board Chairman Roslyn Brock welcomed a list of local and national speakers from government, entertainment and politics as they focused on, “ Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count”.
The convention followed the National ACT-SO competition in which twelve students represented Memphis among the 600 contestants in the categories of Vocal classical music (Camilia Dillard) and contemporary music,(Soniya Thorpe), Instrumental contemporary music,(Carl Palmer, III), Dance, (Kamryn Vaulx),  Poetry-Spoken word, (Charity Johnson), Poetry-written, Christopher Wilson, Playwriting,(Claude Finch), Short story (Mikis Mays), Photography, (Tia Rose), Drawing, (Kaylin Webster), Painting, (Aiyana Welch)  and Filmmaking/Video, (Michael Thomas). Kamryn Vaulx and Camilia Dillard were featured in the recorded awards program. These high school students were coached and mentored by ACT-SO Chairperson M.P. Cater, Joan Patterson and Marian Crooks.
Memphis Branch President, Keith Norman was awarded the coveted Thalheimer Award for excellence in Branch programs. Essence Davis won the $500 Medgar Evers award for her poetry entry and Regine Miller spoke to the assembled delegates on behalf of the Youth and College students attending the convention. The Memphis Branch and Youth Council won first place awards for NAACP membership production for 2015 and for 2016 confirming that Memphis is still the largest Branch in the country.  The recurring word that echoed throughout the convention was “VOTE”.#


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