After 12 years, it was time for America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization to come home to Detroit – and DTE was there every step of the way.
The 110th Annual NAACP National Convention welcomed thousands of people from across the country to the Motor City from Saturday, July 20 through Wednesday, July 24. DTE served as the Blue Ribbon Host Committee Chair to the event, which brought together elected officials, NAACP members, faith leaders, entertainers, and non-profit organizers for discussions ranging from mental health and voter rights to racial inclusion.
The convention was packed with powerful experiences across the city. Attendees enjoyed a presidential candidate forum with all of the Democratic front runners, and had the opportunity to check out the NAACP Experience, which included a health pavilion with free health screening and testing, a retail expo and book signings. The event also offered a Diversity Career Fair, where DTE joined employers such as Apple, Morgan Stanley and PepsiCo to offer job information and opportunities to attendees.
“As a Force for Good in the communities where we live and serve, DTE is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion in all forms,” said Nancy Moody, DTE vice president of Public Affairs. “We share the NAACP’s commitment to prosperity and restoring our city and are proud to bring our support. The NAACP has been an integral force in the revitalization of Detroit – a resurgence that we were excited for visitors to experience first-hand during the convention.”
To kick off the convention, DTE hosted six-time Grammy nominated R&B singer-songwriter Tamia, along with legendary hip hop artists Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh along with DJ Mal-Ski for a free concert at Beacon Park on Saturday, July 20. More than 10,000 people enjoyed the show, Night Markets and food trucks that filled the park throughout the night. The concert also included a specially-curated NAACP interactive light and video show, produced by Detroit-based Mindfield, projected onto the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) building.
“One of the great examples of business and community partnering together was reflected in the way DTE and the NAACP blended both entities together to produce an energy that shined a bright light on the city,” said Reverend Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP. “It created a synergy that goes beyond a mere convention. All Roads did Lead To Detroit because together we lit the road up! On to Boston!”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP’s mission is to ensure equality for all minorities in the educational, political, social and economic spheres. Today, the NAACP has 2,200 chapters and 500,000 members, with the Detroit chapter remaining the largest branch.
“NAACP has worked for more than 110 years fixing broken situations, repairing imperfect laws, correcting hardened conditions in the midst of adversity. Those goals also apply to our city, Detroit,” said Moody. “We’ve come a long way on the journey to restore a healthy middle class, and recognize we still have a long way to go. To complete that restoration, we know that everyone must be involved and included, and the conversations generated by this convention are sure to continue these efforts.”
Miss out on the action? Check out the video from Beacon Park’s NAACP Welcome Concert: