ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The theme “Together We Advance” highlights the fourth annual NAACP Albuquerque Civil Rights and Diversity Conference on Friday at the Sheraton Uptown.
“There is a misconception that the NAACP is a black organization and it’s not,” at least strictly speaking, said NAACP Albuquerque President Harold Bailey.
“When it was founded in 1909, there were white people at the table, and historically white people have always played a role in civil rights, starting with white abolitionists who helped slaves get freedom. What the local NAACP branch wants to do is let people know that if we are to advance we have to do it together, collectively,” he said.
The daylong events will include panel discussions on immigration and human rights, women and social change, and the clergy and the civil rights movement.
Keynote lunch speakers will be 1st Congressional District candidates Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Democrat Debra Haaland.
A 6 p.m. candidate forum will feature gubernatorial candidates Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Steve Pearce.
On immigration and human rights, Bailey said, “the Trump policy that separated families and removed children from parents is a human rights issue that requires us to come up with a strategy to prevent it from happening again.”
Issues that will be discussed in the women and social change panel include gender pay equity, domestic violence directed against women, sexual harassment in the work place, and women in politics.
The panel on clergy and civil rights will “examine the leadership role that ministers traditionally played in the civil rights movement and question if they are still filling that role today,” Bailey said.
More than 130 people attended the conference last year. Bailey said he expected this year’s conference to attract more than 200, and the gubernatorial candidate forum to draw upwards of 400.
The cost to attend is $40 per person and includes lunch. Registration and ticket purchases can be made through the NAACP website at naacpabq.org or by calling 505-797-2750.
Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference starts at 9 a.m.