For the 80th year, branches of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People from across Texas will gather for their state conference.
This year, the conference is being held in Killeen, from Thursday to Saturday.
The Killeen NAACP branch submitted a bid proposal, which included hotel location and conference site information, along with a video of city leaders stating why the conference should be held in Killeen.
“It’s always a big deal to be awarded the state convention,” said TaNeika Driver-Moultrie, committee member for the Killeen NAACP branch.
The conference theme is “Steadfast and Immovable.”
Conference workshops, plenary sessions and luncheons will be held on the Central Texas College campus. The Killeen Civic and Conference Center, 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive, will be the site of the Texas Heroes Banquet on Saturday, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
Derrick Johnson will be the speaker for that event. Johnson is the interim CEO/President of the NAACP.
Johnson was just appointed in July, according to Driver-Moultrie. “It’s very powerful and exciting” having Johnson at the conference, she said.
Derrick Johnson formerly served as vice chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors as well as state president for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. Born in Detroit, Johnson attended Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss. He then earned his law degree from the South Texas College of Law.
A silent auction during the banquet will benefit the NAACP Texas State Conference and various initiatives, Driver-Moultrie said.
Linda Lydia, NAACP Texas state conference chair, added, “We have some Texas heroes we’re recognizing” at the banquet. Three individuals from across the state will receive the Texas Hero Award, with three others receiving special presidential awards.
The Rev. Bruce Maxwell and Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Nashville, Tenn., will receive the 2017 Humanitarian Award at Saturday’s banquet.
The conference will feature an economic development summit, free and open to the public, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
On Friday, the president’s luncheon will be held at 12:15 p.m. The guest speaker will be Dr. Will Guzman.
Other luncheons include a ministers luncheon Thursday and a youth luncheon Saturday.
Guzman serves as director of the Lee H. Hagan Africana Studies Center at New Jersey City University.
Saturday morning, the NAACP is partnering with BikeTexas for an 8-mile guided ride around Killeen. The ride begins at 7 a.m. at the Shilo Inn and Suites, 3701 S. W.S. Young Drive. Bikes — including some electric bikes — and helmets will be provided.
The Torchbearer’s reception will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Shilo Inn and Suites. Larry Gibson, author of “Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice” will be the speaker.
The Killeen NAACP branch previously hosted the Texas State Conference in 2010.
Approximately 300 members are expected to attend this year’s conference. The public is also welcome to attend the workshops, which are free of charge.
For those who wish to attend a luncheon, the cost is $45. The cost of the banquet is $60. Tickets can be purchased by contacting TaNeika Driver-Moultrie at 254-338-1562.
For more information on the conference, visit www.naacpkilleen.org
NAACP 80th Texas State Conference | Events open to the public
11 a.m.-3 p.m: Ministers Roundtable Luncheon (Shilo Inn and Suites) – Ticket required
10 a.m.-2 p.m: Community Health Fair (CTC Planetarium lobby) - Free
10:15 a.m: Fighting and Avoiding Discrimination in Public Schools, Particularly
Regarding Discipline - Free
10:15 a.m: NAACP Criminal Justice Agenda (CTC Planetarium)
12:15 p.m: President's Luncheon – Ticketed event
2 p.m: NAACP Economic Development Agenda - Free
3:30 p.m: FEMA Red Cross and Rebuilding - Free
3:30 p.m: Understanding How to Combat Housing Discrimination to improve your community - Free
7 p.m: Torchbearer's Reception (Shilo Inn and Suites) – Invitation only
7 a.m: 8 mile Major Taylor bike ride (starts at Shilo Inn and Suites) - Need to reserve a bike free at biketexas.org/naacp
10 a.m.-2 p.m: Community Health Fair - Free
10:30 a.m: Wells Fargo home buying initiative - 100% loans available to vets - Free
12 p.m.: Juanita Craft Youth Luncheon ticketed event
1:30 p.m. NAACP Environmental Agenda - Free
3 p.m: Police Stops: Should it be integrated into middle and high school curriculum - Free
3 p.m: Religious obligations to address civil rights health care and Hurricane Harvey - Free
7:15 p.m: Texas Heroes Banquet (Killeen Conference and Civic Center) – Ticketed event