Press Release

NAACP ACT-SO Kicks Off Convention Week

June 13, 2019

BALTIMORE – The NAACP’s ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technical and Scientific Olympics) has been training and encouraging high school students for over 40 years. This year-long achievement program is designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. Many of today’s notable entertainers are ACT-SO alum, including: Black-ish star Anthony Anderson, R&B songstresses Lauryn Hill, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys; American Actress and Facebook’s Red Table Talk host, Jada Pinkett-Smith; and Emmy Nominated American Actor Cornelius Smith Jr. just to name a few.

With over 32 competitions in STEM, humanities, business and performing arts, the most anticipated moment of the year centers around the finals competition and awards ceremony happening in Detroit, Michigan at the 110th National Convention July 20 to 24. Over 700 of the nation’s top students will compete for a chance to win NAACP ACT-SO scholarships and other prizes during the annual competition.

“ACT-SO is a celebration of black excellence,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. “Recognizing and rewarding our outstanding youth who exemplify scholastic and artistic excellence is an honor. We’re excited to continue this tradition and foster the talent of a future generation of leaders.”

A major highlight of the ACT-SO program will be the ACT-SO Film Festival taking place on Saturday, July 20. Competitors in the film making category will be able to see their short film on the big screen. A Convention or ACT-SO badge is needed for access to this event.

ACT-SO registration begins on Thursday, July 18, and the competitions will be held at the COBO Center on Friday, July 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The ACT-SO Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 21 at 12:30 p.m. This free event is open to the public and the audience will be treated to dramatic, dance, spoken word and vocal performances by the ACT-SO contestants themselves.

Other Convention highlights will include CEO Roundtable, retail expo, veterans’ luncheon, diversity career fair and Freedom Fund Banquet. More information about the 2019  NAACP National Convention, including a detailed schedule of events, may be found by visiting

Media interested in covering the event should apply for credentials  here.


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  here.