The 2018 Roanoke NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal winners, chaperones, and committee members traveled to San Antonio, Texas to compete among over 700 High School students from across the Nation. This gathering marked the 40th Anniversary of the ACT-SO program commitment towards providing a forum to showcase our youth who are exemplifying scholastic and artistic excellence and ultimately helping to ensure they are given an equal opportunity to succeed and effect change in our nation. Many accolades were paid to the late Vernon Jarrett, a nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist of Chicago who founded ACT-SO as an Olympics of the Mind. Although our Roanoke 2018 Olympians-Leila Bryant, Cevonte Burwell, Tynajia Smith and Tiana Horace were not national winners, they excelled in their prospective arenas. Their experience was awesome.
On Saturday July 14, 2018, the Ribbon Cutting ceremony bridged into the 109th Annual NAACP Convention with the theme “Defeat Hate-Vote!” Board Chairman Leon Russell and President Derrick Johnson gave great speeches.
The Roanoke Branch NAACP Voting delegates included Brenda L. Hale, President; Gloria Randolph-King, 1st Vice President; Frances Berry, membership chair and Sheila Herron, Young adult chair. These delegates attended the early morning Region 7(Virginia, Maryland and DC) meetings. They were exposed to numerous national and international speakers and well known celebrities. They voted on 40 Resolutions and 9 Emergency Resolutions, they further attended and participated in committee workshops. Great emphasis throughout the convention was placed on the need for all delegates to return home and commit to registering individuals to help educate and encourage voters to participate in the process by ultimately VOTING!