Ruston to host state NAACP conference

Grambling, GSU, La. Tech among sponsoring branches.The NAACP Louisiana State Conference will hold its 64th Annual State Convention on Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Ruston.The theme is "Voting Our Values & Valuing Our Votes." The convention will address Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and how they have changed the political, economic, social and spiritual way of life in Louisiana. Discussions will center around the fact that while elected officials have been discussing a "road home program" since the hurricanes struck, many individuals are still not back in their homes.NAACP officials say this year’s conference is crucial because elections held this year and next will have a major impact on African-Americans in Louisiana for the next 50 years. Members will discuss the importance of taking seriously the "value our votes" and "vote our values" this year. Highlighting the convention will be a keynote address by civil rights activist Dick Gregory during the Freedom Fund Banquet on Sept. 30 at the Mt. Harmony Family Life Center in Ruston.Gregory has some vital information concerning the "road home" that he wants to share with the African-American community specifically and the Louisiana community generally. The Rev. B.F. Martin, activist and retired educator will address the Mass Meeting on Sept. 29. Spiritual performance by the Oasis Puppet Ministry of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Clay also will be featured that night.Minister Frederick Jackson, a criminal justice professor at Southern University-Shreveport and JPB youth assistant, will be the keynote speaker for the Saturday Morning Prayer Breakfast on Sept. 30. The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former Washington, D.C., congressman, will be the keynote speaker for the luncheon on Sept. 30.Among the workshops to be conducted are NAACP Executive Training, How to Handle Civil Rights Complaints, Memberships are the Answer, Economic Empowerment/The New Orleans Land Grab, Political Empowerment and the Upcoming Elections. The NAACP Louisiana State Conference will set an advocacy agenda for the state in these areas and others in its continuing fight for equal rights. For more information or tickets, contact W. D. Walker at (318) 255-1446, Earl Wyatt at (318) 259-9675; or Dr. Grace Tatem at (318) 247-8449