News

Iyanla Vanzant to Keynote NAACP’s Convention
Membership Luncheon

July 13, 2017

Author, inspirational speaker, and television host will address more than 1000 participants at the 108th convention in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (July 13, 2017) – The NAACP, America’s oldest and largest national civil rights organization, has announced that acclaimed spiritual life coach, attorney, New York Times best-selling author and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network TV host Dr. Iyanla Vanzant will keynote this year’s Membership Luncheon during the NAACP’s 108th national convention in Baltimore. The convention will begin Saturday, July 22nd through Wednesday, July 26th at the Baltimore Convention Center, One W. Pratt St.

Vanzant will address the convention on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The five-day confab will feature a robust series of seminars, committee meetings, workshops, exhibits and panel discussions, augmented with inspiring keynote addresses from key NAACP leadership, civil rights and faith leaders, media, youth, and political influencers.

The Membership Luncheon will bring together over 1000 convention attendees and honors the commitment of our members who recruit and engage their communities in the work of the NAACP. Luncheon speakers are selected based on their community engagement, dedication to the mission of the NAACP and ability to convey a clear call to activism and action. The National Membership Department presents awards to members, units, states, and regions which have grown the membership base of the NAACP throughout the year.

“The NAACP is honored to have Iyanla Vanzant as our keynote speaker for this year’s Membership Luncheon highlighting the work those members who are responsible for recruiting and engaging members to do the important social justice advocacy required in our communities,” said Leon Russell, chairman of the Board of the NAACP. “Her work and commitment to others, shines a bright beacon of hope over those seeking a better life,” he added. Host of her own television show, “Iyanla, Fix My Life” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Vanzant is a former NAACP Image Award winner and the author of 15 books, including her first Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Black Women.

“Our primary agenda has been the equitable and fair treatment of people of color and healing our communities,” continued Russell. “Over 100 years after the birth of the NAACP, we continue to face some of the same issues that brought us into existence, and highlight the need for healing as communities, and healing as a nation – Iyanla Vanzant remains an amazing resource to help us with that process.”

Vanzant has endured some heavy life storms and through it all has found a way to process grief, pain, and breakthroughs, turning them into practical lessons to improve one’s life. In 2000, she was named one of the “100 most influential Black Americans” by EBONY magazine, which said that “Her books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.” Vanzant is a frequent guest teacher of Oprah’s Lifeclass on OWN. She attended Medgar Evers College and Virginia Union University. Vanzant holds a juris doctorate degree from the City University of New York School of Law, and is also an ordained New Thought minister.

More about the NAACP’s 108th Annual Convention
Other highlights will include the NAACP ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technical and Scientific Olympics) final competition and awards, the highly anticipated Freedom Fund Banquet, plus a health pavilion, retail expo, veterans’ luncheon, and a diversity career fair. The full schedule (which will continue to be updated) can be found here.

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