2020 ACT-SO Showcase – Online Version

ACT-SO Showcase Goes On — Online, That Is

We have received guidance from ACT-SO National as to how we can hold an online competition. It will be very different in some ways from prior years, but it will still celebrate the achievements of our amazing students, and will still allow them to win scholarships and a chance to compete at a national level.

The competitions will be held:

Saturday May 23rd, 2020
Saturday May 30th, 2020
• Written Poetry
Performing Arts
• Poetry Performance
• Contemporary Vocal Music
• Contemporary Instrumental Music
• Classical Instrumental Music
Visual Arts
• Painting
• Photography
• Filmmaking
• Medicine and Health
• Mathematics
• Computer Science

In the past, we have invited the public in to view the competitions. ACT-SO National’s competition rules do not permit us to do this with the online competitions, as they must be help from the students’ homes, and to allow the public in, even virtually, would be an invasion of privacy. However, we will offer students the opportunity to record their work for the public to see, and we will invite them to an online presentation of their scholarships and let them say a few words to you at our June General Membership Meeting.

Information for All Participants

Zoom Account Required

You must create a Zoom account and log into it to join the competition meeting. If you do not have a Zoom account, please visit https://zoom.us/signup to create one. To test if you are signed into your Zoom account, you may visit sandiegonaacp.org/actso-zoom-test; if you are allowed into the meeting, you are good to go. If you see an error like:

This meeting is for authorized attendees only

Please sign into Zoom with an email address authorized for joining this meeting.

Showcase Rules

  • When joining the meeting, please be alone and have your audio and video turned on
  • Video is to remain on during the entire competition
  • Please have your given first and last name showing in the meeting
  • Your face must be visible for the duration of the competition. Should you need to step away, please do so during the deliberation period.
  • Dress as you would if this were our usual Showcase
  • No recording is allowed
  • The room facilitator will instruct who may speak and when
  • Do not share the Zoom link with anyone

These rules were given to us by the National ACT-SO program, and we have no choice but to follow them if our competitors are to have a chance to compete at the National level.  We thank you for your cooperation!

The Waiting Room

We will be using the Zoom “waiting room” feature. When you join the Showcase, you will see a screen that says:

Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon

This is normal; please wait, and we’ll let you in soon! ?

One Meeting Per Category

Each “category” will have a separate Zoom meeting associated with it:

  • Humanities
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • STEM

We will email you the link(s) to the meeting(s) that you will be participating in.

Information for Competitors

You will only be “admitted” to the meeting while you are competing. Please remain in the meeting until your turn arrives.

Information for Judges


Given the difficulties of the virtual competition, we are going to use a simplified scoring system.  We ask the judges to agree together on which student(s), if any, should receive Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mention. Only one student may receive each medal, but you need not award any of the medals; if you do not feel a student has achieved the required standard, do not award the medal.  Those standards are:

  • Gold: Outstanding; A to A+ work
  • Silver: Excellent; A- to B+ work
  • Bronze: Very Good; B- to B work
  • Honorable Mention: Creditable effort

Evaluations (Competitor Feedback)

While we will ask you to score each competitor immediately after they present, you may take your time with the written evaluations where you give them specific feedback on their performances, and send those in after the end of the Showcase.

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Racism in San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services

February 24, 2020

Re: Racism in San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services.

On February 25, 2020, the San Diego Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will present evidence to the Board of Supervisors of a racist extremist currently acting as a “housing specialist” for San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services. The San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services runs Section 8 housing for San Diego County.

The San Diego Housing and Community Development office is designed to help those who need public assistance.  Because of America’s long history of racism, Section 8 housing overwhelmingly serves communities of color and other disadvantaged communities.  Discovering that someone in a position of power harbors a deep hatred for the very people he is supposed to help, is incredibly distressing. Persons seeking governmental assistance are among our most vulnerable citizens, and they should not need to fear hatred from very County employees hired to serve them.

During public comment, the NAACP will present a series of facebook posts from this County employee, showing shockingly anti-immigrant, anti-latinx, anti-islamic, anti-African American sentiments.  Such attitudes should not and cannot be held by someone who is in a position to approve or deny welfare benefits.

The NAACP already has evidence, in the form of complaint to the NAACP legal redress committee, that this employee is using his position to intimidate people in need, particularly people of color.   In addition, we know from this complainant that at least one supervisor is aware of this employee’s facebook posts and views. The question is why this employee remains in a position of power.

The NAACP San Diego Branch demands:

  1.  An investigation into hiring practices that allowed a racist to be hired as a housing specialist, including who hired him and the record of racial complaints filed against him. 
  2. An investigation to determine how widespread extremist views are in Housing and Community Development Services. 
  3. A re-evaluation of all the Section 8 cases to ensure that people received the assistance they are entitled to under the law.
  4. The County take steps to protect vulnerable people by ensuring that this employee is no longer in a position of power over people of color, immigrants, and members of religions of which he disapproves.

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit

Job Notice: Community Health Group

Job notice received by the Branch. We do not endorse any job opportunity, we only pass along notices we have received.

Community Health Group’s health plan is seeking professionals for various position. Interested parties may search for open positions at https://www.chgsd.com/about-CHG/Careers or contact me:

David Ritchie, Director
Contract Administration
2420 Fenton Street, Suite 100
Chula Vista, CA 91914
(619) 498-6526
[email protected]

February 15th Newsletter

  • Suitcases for Foster Kids
  • Feb 29 Mixer
  • Register to Vote by Feb 18
  • Can Black People Thrive in San Diego
  • Feb 20 CPI Community Schools Forum
  • Black History Month on KPBS
  • Feb 19 Judges’ Forum
  • Feb 19 State of the County Address
  • CRATI Training
  • ACT-SO at UNCF Gala

Suitcases for Foster Kids, and Newsletter


Community Reinvestment Act: Harmful Changes Proposed

February 18, 2020

Re: Proposed Changes to Community Reinvestment Act

The NAACP San Diego Branch strongly opposes the changes to the Community
 Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Our opposition is based on several reasons:

  • The proposed changes will encourage banks to seek out large dollar community development deals to quickly get to a single total dollar volume metric and discourage loans to people with low- and moderate- incomes (LMI) and small businesses because the loans are much smaller.
  • The new scoring system would allow banks to completely ignore almost half of the markets where they have branches and still pass their exams.
  • The system that gives credit to banks for having branches in LMI communities is weakened and will likely lead to massive branch losses in communities that are already underserved.
  • The proposal redefines community development to include large infrastructure projects like stadium improvements in LMI Opportunity Zones which further encourages banks to seek out larger deals over smaller loans to meet the ratio for the total dollar volume metric.
  • The definition of affordable housing would be relaxed to include middle-income housing in high cost areas.
  • The proposal would redefine small businesses and family farms with higher revenues, again encouraging banks to focus on larger loans to bigger businesses instead of smaller community-style loans.
  • The proposal would lessen the public accountability of banks by not accurately measuring their responsiveness to local needs.

The NAACP San Diego Branch has fought against red-lining as a civil rights issue for many years and anything that weakens this law will receive strong opposition from our organization.

Please note that, it is clear that the proposed rules would weaken CRA. The focus on LMI communities would be lost – the exact intent of CRA when it was signed in 1977. This backtracking would violate the agencies’ obligation under the statute to ensure that banks are continually serving community needs. The FDIC and OCC need to discard the proposal, and instead work with the Federal Reserve Board to create an interagency rule that will augment the progress achieved under CRA instead of reversing it.


Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Rebuttal to John Lee Evans

February 17, 2020

In a recent article published in the Voice of San Diego, school board member John Lee Evans proclaimed that he is “sick and tired” of saying that we cannot afford what our students need.  The article continues to point out the areas of deficit for the San Diego Unified School District that he believes receiving more money will solve. 

Mr. Evans then illegally distributed this e-mail to every SD Unified employee via the district’s email system.   Mr. Evans had previously been warned by the courts the ramifications of using district e-mail for political or personal gain, yet he chose once again to disobey the Superior Courts edict.   One would begin to question his motives and his integrity by his egregious actions. 

The school board and the superintendent have proven repeatedly their misuse of funds that come from the state and federal agencies.  The board’s own political gain has completely overshadowed what is needed for students and schools. Every year the district proclaims to have a deficit of millions of dollars and that the state does not give them enough money to run our schools.  But yet every single year under the tutelage of Superintendent Cindy Marten more and more people have been hired to work for her at the central office. Just look at all the revised organizational charts that the school board has approved. Not one of these employees touches the lives of our students.  It simply gives her more help to do the jobs she should be doing and allows her to spend more time in “front of the cameras” giving false information to the citizens of San Diego. 

Families in San Diego have had to cut back in their own homes to afford the living expenses that are now occurring in San Diego.  The district needs to follow this example each year so that the budget is not continually running in the red. Mr. Evans’ article points a BIG finger at the governor, the state and years and years of inadequate funding yet not once does he look at the mismanagement of money and spending habits that occur in the SD Unified School District.  Everything is everybody else’s fault!!!! After 11 years on the school board, Mr. Evans should have firsthand knowledge of how the problem can be solved yet all he can do is beg for more money!! Shame on you John Lee Evans. You know better than to point fingers in every direction but your own. You and the board members will approve every single item at the board meetings IF it helps promote your own political agenda or your own personal wellbeing.  

The time is up!  The parents and community members of San Diego can see through your smokescreen.  We don’t need more money for you and the board to continue to spend foolishly. We need a new school board with members who believe in our students and know how to balance a budget no matter how much or how little they are given.  Just like our students, we will rise to the challenge at hand in spite of your negativity and discouraging attitude.  

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President
NAACP San Diego Branch

February 20th, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting

The Executive Committee met at 6pm, February 20th, in Room 347 of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave.

Executive Committee meetings are public meetings, and anyone may attend. Only Executive Committee members may participate, however.

You may view the interactive meeting packet online.

Or, if you prefer to download the entire packet, you may. Please note that the packet has been updated with financial items that were not made available in advance.

KPBS Member? Some Good Programs to Stream

The following was sent to us by a member of both the NAACP and KPBS; these look to be great programs!

Take a deep dive into African American history with these great programs that profile fascinating people and stories
Nine Impactful Programs About Black Lives in America  We have a great selection of videos for Black History Month that are available on the PBS Video appwhich you can download on any device where you watch streaming video. PBS Video is available for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV and more – just check the app store on your favorite device.  A couple of these shows are exclusive to members like you who have your digital member benefit, KPBS Passport! If you haven’t activated your Passport account yet, click here to get started (and if you have difficulty, watch this step-by-step video).

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War  Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s documentary series “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.  The twelve years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy. This series tells the full story of this misrepresented and misunderstood chapter of American history.*Passport exclusive 

 The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution  A new revolutionary culture emerged in the turbulent ’60s, and the Black Panther Party was at the vanguard. “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” sheds light on the Black Panther Party — and all its reviled, adored, misunderstood, and mythologized history. Weaving together rare footage with voices of those who were there, Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement that still feels timely.  

 Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop  Two decades after the album’s critically acclaimed release, Nas teamed up with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to stage a symphonic rendition of “Illmatic,” one of the most revered albums in hip-hop history.* Passport exclusive

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities  The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” the story of the rise, influence, and evolution of HBCUs comes to life. 

 Say It Loud  “Say It Loud” is a PBS Digital Studios series that celebrates Black culture, context, and history. Hosts Evelyn from the Internets and Azie Dungey give you a comedic take on identity and pop culture, from Black pride movements to Black Twitter. The show explores the complexity of Black experience and finds joy in the many ways Black folks have influenced American life.  Episodes explore such topics and figures as soul food, Richard Pryor, Missy Elliott and Black inventors.

The First Rainbow Coalition  In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party formed alliances across ethnic and racial lines with other community-based movements in the city, including Latino group the Young Lords and southern whites the Young Patriots. Banding together in one of America’s most segregated cities to confront issues like police brutality and substandard housing, they called themselves the Rainbow Coalition. 

 John Lewis – Get in the Way  The son of sharecroppers, John Lewis grew up in rural isolation, seemingly destined to a bleak, segregation-imposed future. But his fate took a different turn, and Lewis rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, his humble origins forever linking him to those whose voices customarily go unheard.   Follow his journey from the Selma March in 1965, where Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence, to the 21st century, where he came to be considered the conscience of Congress.  

We’ll Meet Again: Freedom Summer  Ann Curry hosts this series featuring dramatic reunions of people whose lives crossed at pivotal moments. View history through their eyes and hear stories of heroism, hope and the forging of unbreakable bonds.  In the show’s first season, “Freedom Summer” (Season 1, Episode 5) features the dramatic reunions of people who lost touch after the civil rights movement.   Fatima hopes to thank Thelma for her courage in the face of racism, and Sherie searches for the friend who inspired her commitment to social justice. *Passport exclusive

American Creed  Join former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, historian David Kennedy and a diverse group of Americans to explore whether a unifying set of beliefs, an American creed, can prove more powerful than the issues that divide us.   This special features an array of citizen-activists including baseball manager Joe Maddon, author Junot Díaz, Marine Tegan Griffith, and political organizers Joan Blades and Mark Meckler as they strive to bring communities together across deep divides.  

With your membership benefit KPBS Passport, you’ll get extended access to stream full seasons of your favorite public television shows on the PBS app on any device.  If you haven’t activated your KPBS Passport account yet, click here to get started(And if you have any difficulty, watch our instructional video and check the Passport FAQs)PBS VideoThe PBS Video app lets you stream 4000+ of your favorite PBS shows and local KPBS programs on demand, anytime, anywhere. You can download the PBS Video app on any device where you watch streaming video.   PBS Video is available for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV and more – just check the app store on your favorite device.