NAACP conference coming to Champaign

NAACP conference coming to Champaign
Activists expected from across Midwest for April training
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by Lisa Schencker
The Daily Illini
January 18, 2001

The NAACP will be holding its annual Midwest Training Conference April 5 to 7 in Champaign to train civil rights activists and representatives from across the Midwest.

Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and more than 1,000 civil rights representatives are expected to attend the conference. The activists will hail from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Representatives will attend workshops concerning voter empowerment, ending racial profiling, preventative health care, improving education, religion, social justice and community economic development. They will also be trained in how to motivate and execute NAACP programs.

“A lot of the conference will be online, interactive and hands-on,” said Jerome L. Reide, director of NAACP Midwest Region III.

The event will take place at the Hawthorne Suites, 101 Trade Center Drive, Champaign. This is the first time the conference is being held in Champaign and the second time it is being held in Illinois, Reide said.

“Champaign was chosen for a variety of factors,” said Reide. “Champaign is a center for diversity and inclusion, and it is centrally located.”

The Champaign-Urbana Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to notify local businesses as the conference approaches. The bureau will also provide NAACP representatives with information about local businesses when they arrive.

The conference is expected to bring half a million to $1 million in revenue to Champaign. It is estimated that each representative will spend about $140 a day for lodging, food and other various amenities, said Linda Zigament, director of the Champaign-Urbana Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

“From what we have heard, NAACP representatives like to enjoy the communities they are in at these events,” Zigament said. “This is also a good image-building conference for the community.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP claims 500,000 members worldwide, according to a press release. The organization was instrumental in ending segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Brown vs. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision which ended segregation in schools and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Related Links
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 Official Web site of the NAACP
 Multiracial Activist – Brown vs. Board of Educuation

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