2019 ACT-SO Showcase to be Held at World Beat Center

Breaking news! The ACT-SO Showcase will 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 27th!

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.

ACT-SO Joins Futuristic Fun; Dream Tank and Vision Board

Care to envision the future? Want to plan to carry it out? ACT-SO is joining two futuristic events for young folks:

You’ve seen the mess old folks have made of the world; it’s up to you to straighten it out. Show up and show them new ideas to beat the old ones!

These events are both free and require no registration; just show up!

While the Vision Board Party will build on the Dream Tank, and it’s best if you can do both, you may attend either one without the other.

Welcome San Diego Young Artists Music Academy!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce a partnership with the San Diego Young Artists Music Academy!

Visit SD-YAMA Today

Here is how SD-YAMA describes itself:

San Diego Young Artists Music Academy (SDYAMA) offers a wide variety of programs in vocal, instrumental, choir, dance and many other positive activities in a healthy and safe environment. Our programs help develop culturally relevant and artistic activities for our students that promotes positive self-esteem and good order and discipline for young people. We make youth aware of their potential for creative self-expression and development. We foster a continuing interest in music and arts as a future career. We are also exposing our students to positive images, interacting and understanding between different cultures.

The San Diego Young Artists Music Academy is a 501(c) (3) whose mission is to enhance the lives of youth through music education and performances as deterrents to the drugs, gangs and violence prevalent in their communities.

SD-YAMA has very kindly agreed to share the cost with us of providing professional music instruction for our ACT-SO music competitors. Not only is their financial contribution greatly appreciated, but they also have a pool of instructors at the ready, saving ACT-SO from having to find, recruit, screen and schedule such lessons. We are beyond delighted to have SD-YAMA aboard!

SD-YAMA’s Executive Director, George L Hill, and his wife Robbie.

Notice: San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

STEM Festival

Join Us Saturday March 2, 2019 10am to 5pm at PETCO Park What: For a Mind-Blowing Day of Hands-On Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Exhibits Who: Activities are targeted to budding K-12 science lovers, but everyone is welcome! Cost: Free! Why participate? It’s a unique opportunity to show

This looks like a great event! We recommend all ACT-SO STEM competitors attend!


ACT-SO is off to a strong start in 2019.  We have many students signed up to compete in lots of categories, along with a strong group of mentors and judges.  See for yourself:

Of course we know that students will change their minds and trim down their competitions, or even enter new ones, but we’re definitely off to the races!

Important Deadline Passing

Today, January 31st, was the last day to enroll for guaranteed acceptance into this year’s Showcase.  That doesn’t mean we won’t accept more students–we will.  It does mean that students who come to us now will have to be better prepared and may have more limited choices, as we can’t find proper mentors and judges at the drop of a hat.  All that means:

Students! Waste no Time!

Volunteers, Mentors and Judges, Oh My!

While the students have to hussle, so does the adult community.  Our kids need you!  They need mentors and coaches to help them improve.  They need judges who can give them the crucial feedback they need at the Showcase to get better.  But they also need rides and help getting supplies and childcare for their brothers and sisters and food and cleanup and a thousand simple things.  You don’t need to be a high-powered artist or academic to help emerging African-American adults!

Adults — Show them you care.

Committee Changes

We’ve had some changes on the ACT-SO Committee.  Steve has moved into a back-office role, dealing with all the paperwork and logistics that go into running ACT-SO.  Renita and Kamaria remain, and we’ve added two new ACT-SO Committee Members; Philip and Maisha.  These are the folks students and parents will be seeing and interacting with from the NAACP San Diego Branch.

Renita Payno
– ACT-SO Co-Chair –

Renita is a veteran, the owner and sole proprietor of her own small business, and a mother of two. You will find her at many community events; just ask the …

Kamaria Allen
– ACT-SO Committee Member –

Kamaria has degrees in English and Psychology, has extensive administrative experience and currently works as a counselor to persons with developmental disabilities, and also volunteers with children and adults. She …

Philip Liburd
– Member at Large, ACT-SO Committee Member –

Maisha Kudumu
– ACT-SO Committee Member –

Maisha comes from a family of educators and was herself a three-time ACT-SO participant and Gold Medalist.

Service Opportunities

in the NAACP San Diego Branch

Executive Committee

The NAACP San Diego Branch, founded in 1919 and dedicated to the Civil Rights of all persons and eliminating race-based discrimination, is looking for leaders who would like to serve their communities through advocacy.

The full Executive Committee and Officers, plus Monica Montgomery, District 4 Councilmember

We are looking for individuals who want to inform, connect, and empower our membership, so that we are a strong, vibrant organization, run from the grass roots on up.

We expect all applicants to:

  • Be committed to the cause of Civil Rights
  • Be members of the NAACP San Diego Branch (join today)
  • Live or work in the greater San Diego area, south of the 56 Freeway
  • Have good communications and leadership skills
  • Have (or gain) familiarity with our bylaws

We are seeking people who would like to serve in the following capacities as specified in our bylaws:


ACT-SO Chair

Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Chair

Communications, Press and Publicity Chair

Community Coordination Chair

Economic Development Chair

Environment and Climate Justice Chair

Freedom Fund Chair

Labor & Industry Chair

Housing Chair

Legal Redress Chair

Membership and Life Membership Chair

Young Adult Chair

Our bylaws give the duties of each of these committees in a paragraph or so starting on page 38 (the Secretary is on page 34.) We  invite you to read the relevant section of the bylaws and then fill out a brief application form.  

We are also looking to recruit enthusiastic, outgoing people as Social Media Contributors  to take the Branch’s social media presence to the next level.

If you feel you are qualified to provide leadership in these areas, please fill out our brief application form.

We will contact everyone who applies.

Thank you for your interest in service with the NAACP San Diego Branch, and for whatever work you do, with us or with others, to help our Community thrive.

Games Our Brains Play

Join ACT-SO and Rosanne Rademaker from UCSD at the Skyline Hills Branch Library at 2pm on Saturday, January 26th for a fascinating exploration of how our brains perceive the world and act on information, and how we know what we know about how they work.

We know this presentation will inspire budding scientists, but it also raises important questions about perception and reality that have fascinating implications for artists, writers, and anyone who cares about our community and human wellbeing.

We will reschedule for a later date.