The NAACP will recognize 68 graduates of the inaugural NAACP Next Generation (NextGen) Young Professional Leadership Program during a ceremony and reception at the NAACP 110th National Convention in Detroit, Mich., on Tuesday, July 23. The graduation ceremony will feature the pronouncement of the 2018 NextGen class, highlight the social justice work of the graduates, and award graduation certificates handed out by NAACP National Leaders. Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and architect of the Moral Monday’s Movement, will offer the keynote address to the graduating class.
NextGen is a 12-month leadership development training program for young adults between the ages of 21 and 35 to assist in the development of civil rights competencies and leadership skills necessary to be active and effective social justice advocates. The NextGen program features a series of webinar and classroom trainings, case studies, and group exercises. The NextGen curriculum encompasses leadership development, legislative action, unit administration, communications, fundraising, budgeting, intergenerational relations, ethics in leadership, advocacy, and program planning consistent with the NAACP strategic plan:Game Changers for the 21st Century.
The inaugural class launched in January 2018 and concluded in December of the same year. The ceremony will also recognize six Scholars of Excellence, which are 2018 participants that will continue in 2019 to complete the curriculum.
NextGen graduates are actively involved in their local branches as subscribing life members of the NAACP, elected officers and executive committee members. They have recruited hundreds of new members, developed voter action plans for their local communities and have become actively engaged on a wide range of social justice issues. The 2018 graduating class includes NAACP leaders from 29 different states.