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NAACP to hold convention in Boston in 2023

Morgan C. Mullings
Staff reporter covering state and local politics. Report for America Corps Member. VIEW BIO
NAACP to hold convention in Boston in 2023
NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha Sullivan BANNER FILE PHOTO

During this year’s virtual NAACP convention, Mayor Martin Walsh has announced that Boston will host the 114th NAACP National convention in 2023. After this year’s convention was forced online by pandemic protocol, the organization will make a second attempt at hosting with its historic Boston branch.

“This will be an opportunity to build on the progress our city has made, to focus on the work left to be done, and to highlight the Black excellence here in Boston’s neighborhoods,” Walsh said in a video tweeted Sept. 17. He also highlighted the fact that the Boston branch is the first chartered branch of the NAACP, beginning in 1911.

Boston branch president Tanisha Sullivan told the Banner that after reconfiguring the 2020 convention to comply with social distancing rules, the national organization, the Boston branch, and the city and state still had an interest in holding an in-person event here.

NAACP President Derrick Jackson BANNER FILE PHOTO

NAACP President Derrick Jackson BANNER FILE PHOTO

“From the beginning, we worked in partnership with the national office to try to identify another year that the convention could come to Boston, and 2023 was selected,” Sullivan said.

This year’s virtual convention, titled “We Are Done Dying,” brought together branches from each region, organizers, politicians, celebrities and corporate leaders for conversations on criminal justice, labor and more.

Sullivan confirmed that the 2023 convention will be held fully in person. This year, there were two quasi-in-person events: a drive-in concert featuring Black vendors and artists, and a community outreach event.

“We have a rich history of active contribution to the national NAACP, from helping to lead the way in policy reform, to litigation, to legislative action,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she believes the work of the Boston branch is felt throughout the entire organization, but locally, the convention is a chance to highlight the racial equity work going on in Boston.

Additionally, it has been over 30 years since the convention has happened in Boston.

“So it does give us an opportunity to show what is happening here as it relates to racial justice, so that we can learn from what’s happening in other cities, and hopefully other cities can learn from what’s happening here,” Sullivan said.

“In 2020, the mission of the NAACP is more urgent than ever,” Mayor Walsh said. “I stand with you to demand an end to police brutality and all forms of systemic racism.”