BALTIMORE (July 9, 2018) – Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will keynote the Clarence Mitchell, Jr., Memorial Luncheon to be held on Monday, July 16th at the 109th NAACP Annual Convention, at the Henry B. González Convention Center, 700 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX. Governor Patrick is an American politician, civil rights lawyer, author and businessman who served as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, thus becoming only the second African-American governor of a state since the Reconstruction Era.
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, and as the nation suffers the disastrous effects of President Trump’s civil rights policies, thousands of activists, artists/entertainers, civil rights and social justice leaders will gather for the NAACP Annual Convention. Governor Patrick will address the state of civil rights and civil rights enforcement, as well as the need to implement an effective strategy to engage and energize voters.
Governor Patrick earned a scholarship to the prestigious Milton Academy in Massachusetts in the eighth grade. He went on to attend Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. After graduating, he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later joined a major Boston law firm, where he was named a partner at age 34. In 1994, Former President Bill Clinton appointed him as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where he led the Department’s civil rights enforcement efforts in the areas of education equality, voting rights, employment opportunity and criminal misconduct, among others.
The annual Clarence Mitchell, Jr. Memorial Luncheon honors the life and legacy of a stalwart of equal justice, Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., who served as the chief Washington lobbyist for the NAACP for nearly three decades. Mitchell, nicknamed “the 101st U.S. Senator,” played a key role in winning passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (including the 1970 and 1975 extensions of the Voting Rights Act), and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, among other notable accomplishments. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the NAACP’s “Voting Rights Training Institute,” a two-day continuing legal education program dedicated to training a cadre of attorneys to identify and challenge voter suppression efforts in communities of color during upcoming election cycles. The Voting Rights Training Institute will feature panelists from some of the nation’s most respected civil rights advocacy organizations. It is free of charge to attorneys, law students, and chairs of unit legal redress committees.
The NAACP Convention attracts some 8,000 activists and leaders to set policies and plan for federal legislative and public policy advocacy and civic engagement. Other highlights will include the 40th anniversary of NAACP ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technical and Scientific Olympics) final competition, the awarding of the prestigious Spingarn Medal to former San Francisco Mayor, the Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr., the signature NAACP Experience plus a health pavilion, retail expo, and a diversity career fair.
More information about the NAACP National Convention, including a detailed schedule of events, may be found by visiting naacpconvention.org. Media interested in covering the event should apply for credentials here.