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.



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.

James Jackson: 2019 NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Honoree

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

James was born in Huntington, WV., from where he later joined the U.S. Navy in 1981, and married his wife Terri in 1985. James retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in 2007 after serving 25 years of honorable service in the Navy. While serving, he volunteered in numerous community relations events (at home and on foreign shores). After the military, he became a financial representative in 2008. His mission is now to help individuals and families better manage cash flow in their unique personal situations, and to better protect and accumulate wealth. James likes to jog, play tennis and exercise, and is consistently active in his local church and community. This includes service as an Elder with the Revival Time Church of God in Christ, and volunteering with the San Diego Organizing Project and Boy Scouts of America. He is an active member-volunteer with the SouthEast San Diego Rotary Club , sharing the clubs motto, Service above Self. He spearheaded the formation of the current Boy Scout troop at Johnson  Elementary (sponsored by SESD Rotary). His focus in serving in Southeast San Diego is a personal, because in the 92114 zip code where he lives, African Americans suffer many unnecessary health disparities and are underserved. As current Chair of the UCSD Center for Aids Research Community Advisory Board, he is working to educate and inform, and to show that this community actually cares. In his spare time, James loves spending time with his lovely wife Terri. They have raised two sons, Kingsley and Isaac Jackson, both of whom they are extremely proud.

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.



Curtis Taylor: Headline Entertainer

The NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Committee is pleased to announce that the Grammy®-award-winning musician Curtis Taylor will perform at our Freedom Fund Dinner, in this our Centennial Year!

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.


Grammy Award winning trumpeter Curtis Taylor’s lyrical and melodic improvisational style displays a level of maturity far beyond his counterparts. His unique blend of soulfulness, harmonic sensibilities and rhythm melt together for an unforgettable sound that directly connects with the soul of the listener. According to Taylor, “ When played honestly, music is the ultimate conveyer of truth and beauty.”


Taylor has performed and recorded with Patrice Rushen, Billy Childs, Gary Novak, Bob Sheppard, Ed Motta, Marvin “Smitty’ Smith, Rodney Whitaker, Antonio Hart and great gospel luminaries Karen Clark-Sheard, Kierra Sheard and the Singletons. More extensively Taylor’s stint with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut included a notable concert performance at Kennedy Center recorded for NPR’s Jazzset, an appearance at the Spoleto Jazz Festival, and a week long engagement at Dizzy’s Club in NYC. In addition, Taylor had the great opportunity to tour internationally with virtuosic saxophonist James Carter’s Quintet, performing in: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Canada, and Austria. Rounding out the experience, was a week long stint at Yoshi’s in California again with the James Carter Quintet.


In 2014, Taylor relocated to southern California where he fostered a musical relationship with friend and mentor Kamau Kenyatta. Kenyatta, is a two-time Grammy-award winning producer for Jazz vocal-star Gregory Porter. While building the musical team for Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” album, he chose Taylor for the trumpet chair. Kenyatta stated that Taylor “graced the session with his elegant solos and precise ensemble playing” and noted his musicianship as “impeccable.” Gregory Porter’s “Liquid Spirit” would go on to receive the Grammy-Award for Best-Jazz vocal album of 2014.


Robert Dean: Master of Ceremonies

The NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Committee is pleased to announce that Mr Robert E Dean will serve as Master of Ceremonies for our Freedom Fund Dinner, in this our Centennial Year!

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.


Robert E. Dean started singing at the early age of 5 at his the Israelite Church Of God In Christ( Son Shine Band Choir). At the tender age of 7, he was directing the adult choir at the Galilee Church Of God In Christ and lead singer with a group established by his father, Deacon Robert Lee Dean, called” Galilee Specials.” Those formative years musically would play a vital role in what he is doing now. He later joined Stellar Award Finalist Edward Baltrip & Fulfillment( San Diego, CA), and served in that ministry actively for 18 years.


Karlene Chavis: Mistress of Ceremonies

The NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Dinner Committee is pleased to announce that Ms Karlene Chavis will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for our Freedom Fund Dinner, in this our Centennial Year!

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.


Karlene Chavis shares her knowledge and passion for science and meteorology as Chief Meteorologist, delivering your weeknight forecasts on NEWS 8 on CBS 8 and the CW San Diego.

Karlene joined the NEWS 8 team from WSVN-TV, Miami, FL where she served as weekend morning meteorologist and was recognized as ‘Best Meteorologist’ by Miami New Times.  She previously worked at CBS Local 2 in Palm Springs, CA as the weekday morning weather anchor and fill-in entertainment anchor/reporter for Eye on the Desert. Karlene’s skills were also utilized as the weekend evening weather anchor for the sister station, KESQ-TV. Additionally, Karlene worked as the evening weather anchor for KECY-TV in Yuma, AZ.

A native of Scottsdale, AZ, Karlene received a bachelor’s degree from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University and earned a master’s degree in Geological Sciences from Mississippi State University.  Karlene also completed a fellowship in broadcast journalism training through the Meredith-Cronkite Fellowship Program at KPHO TV in Phoenix, AZ.

She interned at KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, AZ and worked as a published photojournalist and newspaper reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and web entertainment reporter for Gannett Company, Inc.

When Karlene is not on-air, she enjoyed hiking, visiting art galleries and museums, baking, traveling and spending time with her friends, family and fur babies Brody and Stevie.