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Press Statement January 26, 2020 to Provide $3M Grant to Support Expansion of NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Program

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BALTIMORE, MD (January 26, 2020) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is pleased to announce that over the next three years, will provide a $3M grant and enable volunteering support to help scale the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO). This program gives Black high school students — over 300,000 to date — a platform to bring their ideas to life, compete, and begin their journey to becoming leaders in STEM, humanities, business, and the arts.  

"ACT-SO is a celebration of black excellence," said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. "This funding and volunteer support will help our outstanding youth, who exemplify scholastic and artistic achievement, to continue to pursue their passions free from limitations. We are excited to continue this tradition and ensure all of our students have access to mentorship in STEAM careers." 

A 30-second spot will highlight ACT-SO's commitment to investing in the next generation of leaders who will have their own chance to make history.


"Growing up, I saw firsthand how the NAACP ACT-SO program inspired young, black talent to believe in and showcase their brilliance," said Director, Justin Steele. "We know that 65% of students will work in careers that don't even exist today, so programs like ACT-SO that are preparing, recognizing, and rewarding African American students are important to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to be innovators and culture makers."

NAACP ACT-SO has seen a 7% increase in STEM category participation in 2019 and is looking to grow its authority and capacity to raise up mentors within tech and coding. To support this effort, employees from the Black Googler Network and Black@YouTube employee resource groups will volunteer at local and national ACT-SO competitions across the country.

 Sign up now to participate or get more information about this program.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP's work and our six "Game Changer" issue areas by visiting



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