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VP Harris at Convention
Press Statement July 30, 2023

NAACP 114th National Convention Opens with Public Mass Meeting Featuring Vice President Kamala Harris

VP Harris at Convention

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 30, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, amercedes@naacpnet.org

BOSTON — During the Opening Public Mass Meeting, NAACP National Convention attendees heard from NAACP leaders as well as federal, state, local and community leaders as the Association both recognized the city's vibrant Black community and celebrated the opportunity to gather in Boston, home of the NAACP's first chartered branch. 

Leon W. Russell, NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman, officially opened the Convention during the Public Mass Meeting. Chairman Russell called for a full stop to hate and renewed the Association's commitment to fighting in the face of injustice and bigotry in his remarks. 

"They continue to wage a war on education, health care, and opportunity to create new ways to criminalize our brothers and sisters and we have all felt the impact and bitter sting of this bigotry and bias," said Chairman Russell. "But today and every day after, the NAACP will not back down. We will litigate, advocate, and insist that our communities understand that their freedom and our democracy are at stake. We have the power, and that power is our vote. We must use our voices as tools to create a world where we can and will all thrive together."

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Congressman Jim Clyburn, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, and Mayor Michelle Wu addressed the excited crowd along with Attorney General of Massachusetts Andrea Campbell who moderated a Q&A discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris. 

During her conversation with Attorney General Campbell, Vice President Harris emphasized the urgent need for Black voters nationwide to make their voices heard. The Vice President also highlighted the need to take action and remain vigilant to increasing attempts to silence and disenfranchise Black communities as it relates to critical issues ranging from affirmative action, to gun violence and reproductive rights. 

Photos from the Opening Public Mass Meeting are available here and should be attributed to NAACP. A recording of the Public Mass Meeting can be viewed here. Click here for a copy of National Board Chairman Leon W. Russell's remarks, as prepared for delivery. 

The NAACP would like to thank each of the following key sponsors who help make the National Convention possible: Bain Capital, MassMutual, State Street, Sanofi, Boston Building Trades, Boston Medical Center, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Delta Airlines, Verizon, UPS, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Ford Motor Company Fund, and The National Building Trades Union.

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About NAACP

The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

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