Author Archives: Staff

Watch: 2019 NAACP San Diego Branch STEM Camp

This year’s STEM camp at Bell Middle School was bigger and longer than last year’s. Nearly 30 students participated, learning electrical engineering, computer programming, and even a little business, marketing, and entrepreneurship!

While we’ll have some photos of the other parts of the camp to post eventually, engineering and programming are famously non-photogenic. It’s always the CEO’s who get the press, and our camp is no different!

Well, it is different, because in our camp, all the kids got their turn to be CEO and be part of the product pitch. Watch them all here:

We are very thankful to the major sponsors of our camp, SDG&E and Wells Fargo!

Would you like to be part of our future efforts at bringing premium STEM experiences to the underserved? Write [email protected] or donate by clicking below:

Update: there are photos here.

Vincent Riveroll: 2019 NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Honoree

The NAACP San Diego Branch is pleased to honor Vincent Riveroll at our 2019 Freedom Fund Dinner!

“With Students First”

Vincent Riveroll is the founding director of Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA), serving as the school’s executive leader and principal teacher since 2004. A cum laude alumnus of Duquesne University and an educator for over 25 years, he has earned various distinctions for his innovative work, including Educator of the Year by the San Diego Urban League Young Professionals in 2005 and multiple “Teacher of the Year” recognitions.

Under Director Riveroll’s transformative leadership, GPA has achieved many successes that have positively impacted students, families, and the surrounding community. Forging a partnership with UC San Diego and later expanding GPA to high school grades in 2009, he has ensured that historically underserved students would gain opportunities to succeed in rigorous, college prep coursework. With 74% of GPA graduates accepted to four-year universities over the past eight years, GPA now has a strong reputation for providing a welcoming, stable and joyful campus in Southeastern San Diego. The accomplishment of significantly improving school attendance and high school graduation rate is rare where 92% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Once featured in the San Diego Union Tribune for his abilities to creatively instruct and engage students, Mr. Riveroll’s reform efforts to change campus culture at low performing schools have led to wider sharing of his groundbreaking work (i.e. San Diego Unified School District, University of Washington and the Highline School District, WA and Niagara, Canada) and visits to GPA by the Governor of California, the Chancellor of UCSD, and California’s Secretary of Education.

Director Riveroll believes that closing the opportunity gap in public schools is a critical social justice issue of our time. He has a record of producing dramatic student achievement gains as a teacher and leader. An educator and inspirational leader at heart, he continues to lead from the front as a classroom teacher, exemplifying an unwavering belief that all students deserve opportunities to break barriers. He is relentless in placing students first and believes that a highly structured school environment, staffed with the most positive and supportive adults, is necessary to propel students to greatness. Director Vincent Riveroll is an innovative thought leader who welcomes the challenge to create a world-class urban charter school that puts students first.

The Freedom Fund Dinner is an annual event that, in addition to celebrating our supporters, recognizes groups and individuals who have contributed to the cause of Civil Rights and racial justice throughout the City, County, State and Nation. This year will be an extraordinary celebration, as we look back on the 100 years since the founding of the San Diego Branch, and look forward to our bright future.

The evening is sure to be memorable and enjoyable for all.

The 4th of July, 400 Years Later

The United States has not been celebrating July 4th for 400 years. That’s how long most Africans in America trace our plight on this continent. Not all, but most. By the time the wealthy, white, landholding Continental Congress-men signed the Declaration of Independence, Africans had already endured 157 years (or more) of enslavement by the British colonizers. The august men who signed the revered document proclaiming “life and liberty” as God-given rights of all (men), decided it was okay for Africans and their descendants to endure another 89 July Fourths in slavery, in the “land of the free”, until it no longer served the political and economic interests of the northern states, whose industrial development gave them the advantage in the Civil War.

Since then we have seen forward and backward motion in fits and spurts regarding white America’s attitude toward the people of African descent. After Reconstruction, legal battles, World Wars and the Civil Rights Era; white power, white supremacy and white privilege have always clawed back some of the gains African descendants have made – as if we have ever made gains enough to serve as reparations for what was stolen from our ancestors and is now subsumed within the wealth of America and (mostly white) Americans.

After 400 years the Bible tells us God got tired of it all and had a plan for the sudden and dramatic liberation of an oppressed people in an ancient land. The most powerful nation on Earth suffered a crippling defeat without ever fighting a battle. It was primarily because of a recalcitrant and egotistical leader who would not listen to anyone’s counsel. One can only hope history will repeat itself, and my people will be free in short order, by divine order.

C.M. Honoré, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

ACT-SO National Coming Up!

Once again, the NAACP San Diego Branch ACT-SO program is sending Ms Jor’Denay Collier to compete in Poetry Performance at the National ACT-SO Competition!

Jor’Denay, our Gold Winner!

This year’s competition will be in Detroit, Michigan, at the Renaissance Center, pictured above.

Jor’Denay’s Aunt Kim and ACT-SO Chair Renita will be there to cheer her on.