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Book Ban Event
Press Statement July 26, 2023

NAACP to Unite Youth Activists, Distribute Thousands of Banned Books From ‘Freedom Library’ During National Convention

Book Ban Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

July 26, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, amercedes@naacpnet.org

BOSTON– The NAACP's 114th National Convention will convene students and young activists in Boston from July 26th to August 1st for lively conversations and community building. Our future leaders will have an opportunity to engage with issue experts and elected officials to learn, grow, and connect alongside NAACP leaders from across the country.

"The theme 'thriving together' means uniting activists, leaders, and experts of all ages for critical discussions that will advance the future of Black America," said National Youth & College Director Wisdom Cole. "Our NAACP Youth & College members are the Association's lifeblood. We remain committed to nurturing the Black leaders of tomorrow by connecting them with the trailblazers of today. We invite students and young people across the country to join us for inspiration, bonding, innovation, and activism as we celebrate Black excellence in every form." 

Under the theme of "Thriving Together," this year's Youth & College programming at the Convention will focus on equipping young Black leaders with the skills, support, and structure they need to thrive today and tomorrow. Programming will include:

  • Gen-Z Culture Talks, a conversation exploring crucial topics such as the importance of mentorship between Black women and girls, masculinity and mental health, and fostering belonging for BIPOC youth in the STEM field. 
  • Remarks from Massachusetts' Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
  • Panel discussions with young leaders breaking down barriers nationwide, including Florida's Congressman Maxwell Frost, Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones, and many more. 

"Young people continue to be at the forefront of our most critical movements---from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement to the movement for student debt cancellation," said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. "I look forward to joining students and young activists at the NAACP convention to discuss how we can build the lasting, sustainable movements needed to deliver the progress that Black communities demand and deserve."

A full schedule of events is available here. All Youth & College programming events will be broadcast on HBCU Buzz and associated social media platforms. 

This year's Convention will also include "Freedom Library," which will comprise of books acquired in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers' "Reading Opens the World" program. A total of 4500 books, primarily featuring banned titles, will be distributed to Convention attendees and to the local community through the Youth & College program's service project. This donation follows an initial distribution of 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities in Florida following Governor Ron Desantis' attempt to restrict the teaching of Black history in high schools across the state in March 2023. 

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, 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.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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