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Roane sponsors NAACP event

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By Cindy Simpson

The Tennessee State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s 67th annual state convention and Civil Rights Advocacy Conference is coming to Oak Ridge, and Roane County’s unit is the host.
The convention begins Thursday, and continues through Sept. 28.
The conference will include leadership and motivational training, including the NAACP Game Changer Initiatives for the 21st Century at the convention workshops and forums.
A news release said the initiative addresses five major areas: economic sustainability, education, health, public safety and criminal justice, and voting rights/political representation.
Tentative schedule and convention highlights include a religious emphasis and community day on Thursday.
In addition to a community outreach and press conference at 11:30 a.m., a religious affairs/membership luncheon is scheduled for noon, followed by a faith leaders/community health forum addressing childhood obesity by building healthier, stronger communities.
A mass meeting, memorial service for civil rights leader Medgar Evers and soul food dinner ends the day.
Evers was the NAACP’s first field officer in Mississippi. He died from a gun shot wound to the head at his home in 1963. Prior to his death, he’d been the victim of numerous threats, including a Molotov cocktail thrown at his home.
Friday’s events include a criminal justice and education breakfast and forum, Protecting Our Youth: A Closer Look at School to Prison Pipeline from 8 to 11 a.m.
A labor and human rights luncheon and forum is Empowering Communities for Jobs, Education and Justice beginning at noon until 4:15 p.m. A Youth and College Town Hall meeting, New Generation/Old Battles: The Struggle Continues will end the day at 7 p.m.
Saturday morning will include the Women in the NAACP breakfast and fashion show. Adult and youth workshops also will be conducted.
The Vernon Jarrett Youth Awards Luncheon is at noon with freedom awards dinner that night.
Convention speakers include Derrick Johnson, president, Mississippi State Conference NAACP and member of the NAACP National Board of Directors at the Freedom Fund Banquet.
John Johnson, director of Kentucky-Tennessee Human Rights Commission, will speak at the Labor/Human Rights Luncheon. The Rev. Vincent Dial, pastor of Bethel Christian Church in Jonesborough, will speak at the religious affairs/membership luncheon, and the Rev. Keith Norman, pastor of First Baptist-Broad Church of Memphis,  will speak at the mass meeting/memorial service.
Information can be found online at www.tnnaacp.org/events.html.