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NAACP Kicks Off Its National Convention Thursday In Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) - For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the NAACP will return to having its national convention in person. About 8,000 people are expected to be in Atlantic City for the 113th national convention.

Dr. Hazel Dukes, this year's convention co-chair, said this gathering will showcase the power of young Black men and women working together.

"Not playing basketball, not playing football, but they're talking about STEM. They're educating themselves," Dr. Dukes said. "They're not shooting. They are not using the bullet. They're using the mind, and so yes, it's power."

The NAACP leaders say they want to strategize solutions to some of the most pressing issues in the Black community, including voter suppression, police brutality and reproductive rights.

Atlantic City Interim Police Chief James Sarkos didn't go into details about his department's security plans, but he said they've been working on those details for several months with multiple agencies.

"The security of this convention is something we do not take lightly, and we are going to ensure that everything possible is being done," Sarkos said. "It's going to be a safe, fun and secure event."

When attendees arrive, they'll receive a list of 16 Black-owned restaurants to patronize.

"This is a real opportunity for us to make an impact on the nation," Mayor Marty Smalls, Sr., said.

Members will be joined by a number of guests, including elected officials, faith leaders and entertainers.

Questions remain on whether Vice President Kamala Harris will be speaking at the convention on Monday. While her office said she's not scheduled to come to Atlantic City, organizers said they do expect her to visit and will have more details Saturday.

Registration can be found on the NAACP's official website.

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