The ACT-SO Showcase will again be held at the fantastic World Beat Center in Balboa Park!
Join us to celebrate the Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific talents of African-American high school students on April 4th!
The exact schedule of events is not yet finalized, but the various competitions will begin at 1pm and finish by 5pm. A detailed schedule will be available soon, so you can decide which competition(s) you want to see.
Save the date to support African-American high school students and their academic prowess!
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) San Diego hosted a gala where four deserving students received scholarships to further their education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Though our ACT-SO students were not eligible for the scholarships, we were able to send Eryn Bell as a VIP attendee thanks to the generosity of Ms. Senior California USA 2019, Mari Lewis!
Eryn is very thankful she was able to attend the UNCF Gala. She had the opportunity to meet District 4 Councilmember Monica Montgomery, received writing advice from Starla Lewis, and speak with other students who are just as driven to succeed as she is. This experience has offered her the chance to practice her elevator speech and learn more about how programs like UNCF and ACT-SO are funded. She was moved by the bonds exhibited from HBCU alumni and their families so much that she’s considering attending one herself.
Mari Lewis, the current Ms. Senior California USA 2019 is a 50-year veteran of the performing arts. In her teens, she performed in several theater and musical theater companies. In her 20s, she was principal soloist in 2 regional ballet companies and a showgirl with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus where she learned the time-honored skills of trapeze and contortion. From then through her 40s, she performed and toured the United States and Japan with her own trapeze act (“Aerial Exotica”) and contortion act (“The Serpentine Feline”) in the 1st All-Black American Circus (“UniverSoul Circus”). Mari Lewis currently shares her skills and experience as a performance coach, choreographer, and lifestyle speaker and inspiration. ACT-SO is grateful to have such a talented person support our talented students. Thank you Mari!
This year your Branch will once again march in celebration of the birth of Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Please come out and join your Branch in honoring one of the great leaders in the history of the struggle for civil rights, not to mention one of the great leaders in American and World history.
Not a Branch member? March with us anyway — all are welcome! You may join right at the parade, but even if you’re not ready to join, we want you with us.
We are asking folks to wear either their purple NAACP San Diego Branch t-shirts or their black and gold ACT-SO t-shirts. If you don’t have a shirt, come as you are! You can buy a shirt at the parade, or march in whatever feels best to you.
Want to help us decorate our ride? Arrive by 10:00am to 1600 Harbor Drive; text 619-567-9149 for precise information on where the decorating is happening.
Arrive by 1pm to march in the parade; meet at the fountain. NAACP members will be at the Guardian of Water round fountain on the Bay side of the County Administration Building, 1600 Harbor Drive, and will guide you to where we will march.
If you can’t find us, ask Parade officials for NAACP San Diego Branch, Division 1, Position 21. We’re between San Diego Pride and Bethel Baptist Church, if that helps.
Consider using transit! Parking around the parade is difficult. Consider taking the trolley or coaster; get off either at the Santa Fe Station or the County Center Station.
A 16-year-old young man was suspended a week ago from Mater Dei High School because of his hairstyle. While that suspension has been rescinded, it never should have been allowed to happen at all. Diocese spokesman Kevin Eckery said that “the matter has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction;” we are here to tell Mr Eckery that the matter most certainly has not been resolved to our satisfaction.
The Diocese of San Diego is a private institution and thus Mater Dei High School is allowed to make its own rules within certain limits. Religious organizations are furthermore given latitude by our government on issues of faith and conscience. This latitude is not extend to illegal discrimination, nor is hairstyle a matter touched on by the Catholic faith.
Hairstyle may seem like a small matter at first glance to the lily-white and all-male leadership of the Diocese of San Diego. What they may not recognize is the cultural importance of hairstyle. While Catholicism is mum on the issue, sects of Islam, Judaism and even Christanity regulate hairstyle. Furthermore, African-Americans, sadly remaining suffering as we do from so much discrimination, use our hairstyles as a way to remain in touch with our long cultural heritage.
We therefore believe that the Mater Dei High School’s action consists of illegal discrimination based on race, and is not a protected exercise of their religion. We might have expected the Diocese of San Diego, whose all-male leaders wear dresses, to have a little more flexibility and understanding toward long-standing cultural norms. We also might have expected the Diocese of San Diego, given certain practices in their own culture that have come to light in recent years, to keep its distance from the heads and bodies of young men in its care.
We demand the Diocese of San Diego to do better, and we stand ready to assist any efforts they make to train themselves and their employees in the African-American experience, explicit/implicit bias, and cultural sensitivity. We are celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of San Diego residents, and we are well-equipped to help rectify this matter.
Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President NAACP San Diego Branch
Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday, is the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.
We in the NAACP San Diego Branch would like you to consider supporting one of our youth programs. Whether you want to support SWAG, which gives career insight to middle school students, or our summer STEM Camp, which gives middle-schoolers a two-week introduction to electrical engineering, coding, and even marketing and business planning, or ACT-SO, the NAACP’s national program for encouraging academic excellence in high school students, our youth need your help this year.
Whether you can only spare $20 or whether you can full fund a student’s ACT-SO experience, your donation means everything to the students who participate.
Program at a glance:
Career insight for middle-school students.
Participation Goal: 50 students
Cost per Student: $70
Program at a glance:
2-week summer camp introduction to STEM
Participation Goal: 70 students
Cost per Student: $600
Program at a glance:
Development, Celebration and national Competition for High School Youth