Credit: Contributed


Special to the AmNews

The NAACP focused on the upcoming 2020 presidential election, criminal justice, health care and called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump at its 110th National Convention in Detroit this week.

Kicking off at the Detroit Marriott, the five-day convention featured a series of seminars, committee meetings, workshops, exhibits and panel discussions.

The event began with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams addressing health advocates. Adams highlighted policy solutions and new approaches to reduce the impact of diabetes, a disease which disproportionately affects African-Americans.

“Our issue-specific programming is the hallmark of advocacy and grassroots efforts each year,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP. “We have an aggressive agenda that will provide attendees with the essential tools and information they need to make deep, long-lasting contributions to their communities.”

A criminal justice panel titled “Are Prisons Obsolete: Envisioning America Beyond the Age of Mass Incarceration” looked at solutions and approaches to criminal justice that do not include the mass-incarceration of communities of color. Members learned how to advocate for results-based criminal justice policies to keep our communities safe, including treatment for addiction and mental health problems, judicial discretion in sentencing, and an end to racial disparities.

On Wednesday, July 24th, the NAACP hosted a presidential candidates forum. Every presidential election, the NAACP extends invitations to both the Republican and Democratic nominees for president to address the NAACP membership.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris and Bill Weld all spoke at the forum moderated by White House correspondent April Ryan.

“As a media trailblazer, April Ryan is a journalist who continues to create distinguished bodies of work with an extraordinary depth, scope and significance to people in the Black community,” said Johnson. “We are honored to have her moderate our Presidential Candidates Forum and look forward to hearing the candidates address some of the most critical issues we face today.”

During a session with remarks from Rep. Al Green, the NAACP national delegation voted on a resolution for the U.S. House of Representatives to initiate Articles of Impeachment for President Donald Trump.

Delegates said the reasons for their vote include Trump’s recent calling out of minority congresswomen and telling them to go back to their countries, the treatment of immigrant children without food or water, and numerous attempts to avert the Supreme Court’s decision to not add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Trump rejected an invitation to speak at the NAACP. He said scheduling and the format for his appearance were factors for declining to attend.

“I very much wanted to go, but we had a date,” he said. “The date got changed and unfortunately, they wanted to do it in the form of a question and answer.”