ABOVE PHOTO: Kenyada Posey, NAACP youth advisor
By Kenyada Posey,
Philadelphia NAACP Youth Advisor
“Fired up and ready to go!” was the chant heard throughout the halls of Detroit COBO Center at the 17th largest convention in the country.
As the Philadelphia NAACP Branch Youth Advisor, I was excited and nervous to attend my very first national convention. Knowing that it was the NAACP 110th National Convention made it even more exciting!
Many workshops were available that encompassed a range of topics; I chose to attend the civic engagement and the youth advisor workshops. I gained a wealth of knowledge from both workshops, as well as others. I was able to meet and connect with president and CEO Derrick Johnson, who is the amazing and engaging leader of this powerful organization. I met many board members and branch presidents from all over the country.
Many were delighted to see that the torches are being received by young people like me. As a selectee of the NAACP’s Next Generation Leadership training program, I was able to meet the founders and sponsors of the program. I felt a personal need to make them proud. Prior to the convention, I — along with my other classmates — was required to attend training three days before the start of convention. The goal was to get in-person training to go with our online webinars and get acquainted with one another. I was among freedom fighters from around the country, young and old. Being the youngest member of the executive committee here in Philadelphia, I sometimes feel isolated and alone, but the convention allowed me the opportunity to connect with young people who are leading the way in their communities — it was refreshing, riveting and rejuvenating! To share and trade horror stories and techniques was very helpful to me and others. The goal of my peers and myself is to get more young people interested and involved in the NAACP in the college and adult chapters.
On the second day of the convention, the National Board members met for business. During that meeting, all 60 something of my peers flooded the room to be introduced as the next leaders of this great organization. One of the older board directors reflected upon the memory of a young Martin Luther King Jr. attending his first board meeting and how the torch was being passed. It was an emotional moment.
Getting dressed on the third day, I watched history being made as former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress on the TV screen. A gut-wrenching pain developed in the pit of my stomach. My thought was, ‘we have to mobilize and fight’! The motto of the NAACP is, “when we fight, we win!” But it is a must that we enlist the young people to join this fight with us. Too often, young people are left on the sidelines for many different reasons, watching the fight. But I am calling, begging, pleading that young people join the NAACP! There’s many different ways to join.
Young people can start their own high school chapters, as well as start or reactivate their own college chapters then ultimately join the local adult branch. Either way you begin, just join us at the NAACP, so that we can last another 110 years in this fight against injustice!
Contact me at [email protected] for more information on the Next Generation Leadership Training program, as well as about joining or creating a chapter or branch in your location.