On Saturday, April 29th, the Bakersfield chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will hold the State of Black America conference. The conference will consist of panels, guest speakers, and vendors. It will be held at Greater Harvest church at 10 a.m.
NAACP president, Patrick Jackson, explained that this event would create a space not only for people to speak about topics important to them but also to come up with solutions.
“For us to come together as a community and have leaders discuss not only problems but solutions,” said Jackson speaking about the importance of community members getting together. “So many are in different silos and so many are doing great things that it allows us to not only hear from leaders but also our next generation of leaders as well.”
There will be two panels on Saturday and one will be focusing on the youth perspective of what they are seeing happen in the community and the changes they’d like to see.
“To be able to establish what they’re seeing in our community and us being able to sit down and listen to our next generation of leaders. A lot of times we don’t to be able to sit down and take a moment just to listen to them as well so that we can have a fully holistic view of what’s going on here in Kern County,” said Jackson.
The conference will cover a variety of topics including; health, politics, religion, jobs, and education. Jackson stated that this is to have a conversation about how to grow as a collective.
One topic Jackson spoke about hoping people grow in from this conversation is financial literacy. He explained that it is important in helping people grow individually and create something for future generations.
“We have a huge gap in our financial status as a community and a lot of us even statistically most African Americans don’t even have $200 in a savings account,” said Jackson. “So, being able to have something to start to establish ourselves from savings to budgeting to having insurance, especially other benefits, and things like that can jump-start our families instead of leaving a debt.
Jackson hopes for this conference is that the conversation doesn’t stop when the conference ends.
“I hope that they are one, inspired, that they’ll be able to see that us coming together as a community that wholesomeness of love of coming together,” said Jackson. “Secondly, I hope they’re educated. That they take away tidbits of information from this and be able to establish it in their own lives and also share it with others. Thirdly, that it doesn’t stop there. That we continue with our community meetings.”
The conference is free to attend and individuals can register here.