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.

Home Page

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


Feb 19 Superior Court Judges’ Forum

On Wednesday, February 19, the NAACP San Diego Branch will join San Diego Chapter of the Black Political Association of California (BAPAC SD) in hosting a voter education forum featuring candidates for the four open seats on the San Diego Superior Court.

The forum will be held at the Educational Cultural Complex in southeastern San Diego. Convening partners include the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, NAACP San Diego Branch, Central Black Chamber of Commerce and the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties. 

Black San Diegans are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and underrepresented on the bench. In this race, there are no Black candidates and little discussion of issues of importance to justice-impacted communities. For these reasons and more, it is critically important that people of color are informed and engaged in this election and vote their entire ballot.

All eleven Superior Court Judge candidates were invited to participate in the February 19 forum. Eight have confirmed as of this date (in bold): Michelle IaleggioShawn McMillanStephen Miller, CJ Mody, Mike Murphy, Peter Murray, Tim Nader, Alana Robinson, Mark Skeel, Paul Staritaand Roberta Winston.

WHAT:    San Diego Superior Court Judge Candidates Forum

WHEN:   Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 6pm to 8pm. Doors open at 5pm.  

WHERE: Educational Cultural Complex (Common Ground Theatre)

                         4343 Ocean View Blvd., San Diego, CA 92113

Photos: ACT-SO at UNCF

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’s Experience

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!

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Feb 13: POST Commission Meeting

The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training will meet right here in San Diego on Thursday, February 13th.

This Commission, as you might guess, sets the standards for behavior and training for police throughout the State. These standards are crucial, as they are the official guide to how police are to behave.

Bills like the landmark (and long overdue) AB-392 on the permissible use of force are filtered through this Commission before being taught to officers. This is your opportunity to see the Commission in action.

9:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2020
DoubleTree by Hilton
San Diego Mission Valley
7450 Hazard Center Drive
(619) 297-5466


2020 Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Parade Instructions

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.

Here are the final details:

Let us know you’re coming: RSVP via Eventbrite

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.

We’re looking forward to seeing YOU there!