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Press Statement July 14, 2023

NAACP to Bring Talented Youth to Boston for Annual ACT-SO Competition at 114th National Convention

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July 14, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON– The annual Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) competition will return to the main stage for the NAACP's 114th National Convention in Boston. The ACT-SO competition is the culmination of a year's worth of local programs hosted by NAACP branches across the country, which brings mentoring and scholastic enrichment to youth while fostering community, achievement, and excellence within Black communities. 

"Each year ACT-SO provides young, Black future leaders with a safe space to nurture their talent, succeed and — most importantly — thrive," said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. "The NAACP is proud to provide a platform for the next generation to showcase their creativity in an environment that is unapologetically Black. We are excited to witness all that this year's participants have to offer and to recognize the passion that could lead to a future NAACP Image Award."

Since its inception in 1978, over 300 thousand high school students have participated in the ACT-SO competition. From visual arts and business to performing and culinary arts, participants work with community-based volunteers for a year to develop their projects and performances. 

"ACT-SO is a celebration of Black excellence. It is critical that we support our future leaders and provide them with opportunities to thrive," said National Director of ACT-SO Larry Brown, Jr. "This competition provides the next generation of Black leaders in every sector with an opportunity to cultivate their confidence, purpose, and unrestricted passion. I'm already incredibly proud of each ACT-SO participant and look forward to seeing the results of the investment made over the last year."

All Convention attendees will be able to see and experience the ACT-SO participants' work throughout the Convention in Boston. The STEM projects and artworks will be on display in the ACT-SO STEM & Visual Arts Gallery from July 28-30, 2023. On July 28th, culinary arts will be shared during the ACT-SO Taste & Savor Culinary Experience. The top prizes presented during the ACT-SO Awards on July 29, 2023, will include scholarships and other rewards. 

The convention, themed "Thriving Together," will take place in Boston from July 26th to August 1st and offer all attendees extensive programming focused on addressing critical issues faced by Black communities. 

Members of the press interested in attending and covering ACT-SO and the NAACP National Convention in Boston are encouraged to fill out this form.



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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