BY CLYDE HUGHES | AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY — Just weeks away from the NAACP national convention arriving in the resort city, the Atlantic City NAACP continues its work to have 300 local youth participate in the historic event.
From July 14-20, the NAACP will host its first in-person national convention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at the Atlantic City Convention Center, with many youth events at the Tropicana Atlantic City. It is the first time since the 1960s that Atlantic City has hosted the NAACP convention, the most influential civil rights organization in the country.
“If we’re going to have a convention like this here in Atlantic City, we have to make sure our youth are involved,” Atlantic City NAACP President Kaleem Shabazz told Front Runner New Jersey.
Shabazz, who also serves as a city council vice president in Atlantic City, said he has been pleased with the level of support from the community to pay for student registrations.
Those supporters include the AtlantiCare Foundation; Atlantic City Electric; public safety company Axon; Bart Blatstein, of the Showboat Hotel and Tower Investment; Wassem Boarie, of Boarie Development; Pat Fasano, of Fasano Properties; former New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo; and Attorney Phil Weinberg.
Shannon Moore, coordinator of Axon’s Community Impact Team, is not only sponsoring 100 youth for the convention, but also giving to two events connected to the NAACP NextGen program. She told the radio program “NAACP Speaks” with Shabazz and local attorney Yolanda Melville on Tuesday that getting involved at this level was parallel with the company’s pillars.
She said Axon, which is a national public safety company said connecting with the NAACP is a “smart investment” because they want to make sure the proper support is being made in communities, particularly communities of color
She said municipalities and organizations must put the work in to make their communities safer and you can’t “police your way out of issues.”
Moore said her company would like to make commitments that she hopes will last long after the convention ends on July 20.
“We just want to be a great partner, and just continuously building relationships with organizations such as the Atlantic City Chapter of the NAACP, the national NAACP, and NextGen,” Moore said.
“You know, when I think about the state of our country right now, like things that are going on, it’s just something we should be doing, and this is really exciting. It’s really important that we are constantly thinking about civil rights, and what that looks like now.
She said Axon’s commitment to the Atlantic City youth during the upcoming convention and future endeavors is one of the company’s top priority.
For more information, go to the Atlantic City NAACP Facebook page here.
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