The NAACP New York State Conference held its 83rd Annual Convention October 11-13, 2019 in White Plains, NY at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Hosted by NYS Conference President Hazel N. Dukes and NAACP White Plains President Janice Girffith, there were over 300 adult and youth members in attendance, along with many special guest panelists and speakers from throughout New York State including House Majority Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and NYS Senator Brian A. Benjamin.
The Game Changer workshops were hosted by the New York State Conference Chairs featuring expert panelists who offered an abundance of information to those in attendance about the current issues and the resources available to all New Yorkers in the areas of health, civic engagement, criminial justice, ecomonic empowerment, education, and environmental & climate justice.
The Opening Session of the Convention was heavily attended by the NAACP New York State members as well as political dignitaries from White Plains and throughout New York State. The Awards Luncheon held on Saturday, October 12th, was the event of the weekend hosted by Spectrum News NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills. Awards were presented to those who made major contributions to the advancement of all New Yorkers throughout the the year. Guest speakers included Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Mayor Thomas Roach, and Rodney S. Capel of Charter Communications. Reverend Malcolm Byrd of Mother AME Zion Church, Harlem NY, wrapped up the wonderful event with an inspiring speech that brought everyone to their feet.
The Awards Dinner held Saturday night was one of celebration as the New York State Conference congratulated President Hazel N. Dukes on her re-election as New York State President 2020-2022. The President’s Award was presented to Ulysess Spicer, who currently holds the position of Secretary and will be stepping down at the end of this year after a long and proven commitment to the New York State Conference. The Corporate Award was presented to Darryl C. Towns of American Airlines for his commitment to ensuring equity for all passengers regardless of color. Finally, the E.T. Reed Award was presented to Garry A. Johnson, NAACP New York State Economic Chair, who is deserving of the award after decades of commitment to NAACP Manhattan Branch and the New York State Conference. Everyone had a chance to let their hair down and dance the night away to some oldies but goodies by the 45 Disco Dishers, featuring Willie Trotman, President of NAACP Spring Valley.
Sunday morning the President’s Breakfast was hosted by President Hazel N. Dukes who presented beautiful custom engraved clocks to the Presidents and Chairs of the New York State Conference who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to uphold the mission of the NAACP to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
Membership Awards Breakfast
Host: Gloria Benfield, Membership Chair, NAACP NYS Conference
Host: Cheryl Wills, Spectrum NY1
Guest Speakers: Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader, NYS Senate; Honorable George Latimer, County Executive, Westchester County; Honorable Thomas M. Roach, Mayor, White Plains, NY; Rodney S. Capel, State Government Affairs, Charter Communications; Destiny Hamilton, President, NAACP NYS Youth & College Division; Rev. Lee Trollinger, Calvary Baptist Church, White Plains, NY
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Malcolm Byrd, Mother AME Zion Church, Harlem, NY
2019 President’s Award Winner: Ulysses Spicer, Secretary, NAACP NYS Conference
2019 Corporate Award Winner: Darryl C. Towns, Northeast Regional Director, American Airlines
2019 E.T. Reed Award Winner: Garry A. Johnson, Economic Development Chair, NAACP NYS Conference
Economic Development Workshop
Moderator: Garry A. Johnson, NAACP NYS Economic Development Chair
Panelists: Luc Severe, Shaquanna Brooks, Franicilia Wilkins Rahim, Jill L. Johnson
Criminal Justice Workshop
Moderator: William McDonald, NAACP NYS Criminal Justice Chair
Panelists: Honorable Brian A. Benjamin, Alycia Michelle Guichard, Shawanna Erena Vaughn
Moderator: Lorraine Braithwaite-Harte, NAACP NYS Health Chair
Panelists: Carol McGruder, Delmonte Jefferson, Dr. Robert Foronjy, MD
Moderator: Christine Waters, NAACP NYS Education Chair
Panelists: Dr. Lorna Lewis, Janella T. Hinds
Civic Engagement Workshop
Moderator: H. Scottie Coads, NAACP NYS Civic Engagement Chair
Panelists: Karim Camara, Kevin Myles