CT NAACP Presents The Great Debate–Harvard V. Howard–Webster Bank Arena

great debate

News release from Mayor’s Office:

The NAACP Connecticut State Conference, the largest and oldest Civil Rights organization in the State, will host its 52nd Annual State Convention in Bridgeport, CT.  The convention will be held Friday and Saturday–October 20th & 21st, 2017. Please see the attached schedule at a glance.

This year’s convention will feature the CT NAACP’s 9th Annual Great Debate between Harvard University and Howard University. It’s anticipated that over 7000 Students from across the State will be in attendance. This event will be the largest Collegiate Intellectual Competition of its kind in the United States. The topics of the Debate will be:

1.) Subject Matter – Criminal Justice
Resolution: The House believes that Colin Kaepernick chose the wrong tactic of kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem at an NFL game.

2.) Subject Matter – Gun Control
Resolution: The House believes that there should be a total ban of all automatic weapons for civilian use.

“The Great Debate” will be held at the Webster Bank Arena (600 Main St. Bridgeport, CT) Friday October 20th, 2017 doors open at 9am and the Debate begins at 10am.

Other features of the State Convention will be the Criminal Justice Workshop titled “Nothing About Us, Without Us” a discussion about Re – Entry with the Formerly Incarcerated. The workshop will be moderated by Carleton J. Giles, Chairman CT Board of Pardons & Parole, Saturday 11am to 12:30 at the Trumbull Marriott 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull, CT.

The keynote speaker for the Annual 52nd Civil Rights Luncheon will be Yariela Kerr-Donovan, Senior Director, Human Resources Dept. at John Hopkins Medicine/The John Hopkins Health System. John Hopkins has been the leading employer in the Nation dealing with individuals that have been formerly incarcerated, and she will share information pertaining to their success, and how other corporations can model their efforts.

Convention schedule:

Friday, October 20th:

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Great Debate Harvard vs Howard
(Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT)

12:00 pm -1:30 pm – Great Debate VIP Reception
(Webster Bank Arena)

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Registration at Trumbull Marriott (180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull, CT)

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Opening Plenary Session:

Election of State Convention Committees:

Election Supervisory Committee (5-7 Delegates), plus 2 Y&C Delegates

Time & Place Committee (3-5 Delegates)

Resolutions Committee (5-7 Delegates)

Credentials Committee (3-6 Delegates), plus 1 Y&C Delegate

Report of the 2016 Election Procedures Committee

Report of Branch Presidents

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Delegate Reception

9:00 pm – 12:00 am Committee Meetings

Saturday, October 21st: Trumbull Marriott

7:00 am – 2:00 pm Registration

8:00 am – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:00 am Special Session of the Election Supervisory Committee

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Plenary Session

10:00 am -10:50 am
Workshop 1 – Minority Teacher Recruitment

10:00 am – 10:50 am
Workshop 2 – Health – Advances in Sickle Cell Disease

Convention Schedule At-A-Glance (Continued)

Saturday, October 21st  – Trumbull Marriott

11:00 am – 3:00 pm Election Poll Opens ~ Delegate Voting

10:00 am – 10:50 am Youth Workshop – The Leadership Chronicles Workshop (Youth and College Members)

10:00 am – 10:50 am Youth Workshop – CT NAACP Y&C Advisor Education, Support and Empowerment Workshop (Advisors)

11:00 am-12:20 pm Criminal Justice Workshop – Nothing About Us Without Us (Adults, Youth & College)

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Civil Rights Luncheon – Keynote Speaker: Yariela Kerr-Donovan, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, SWP; Senior Director, Human Resources Department; Strategic Workforce Planning & Development (Project REACH/Community Education Programs); Johns Hopkins Medicine/The Johns Hopkins Health System

2:00 pm – 2:50 pm Freedom Fund Fundraising Workshop (Adults, Youth & College)

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Closing Plenary Session (Reporting of All Committees)

For additional information or questions please contact the CT NAACP Office at 860-523-9952, office hours are 10am to 4pm Mon thru Friday.



  1. Imagine the discussion of such serious topics by well qualified young people in front of thousands of younger students? What is the power of voice in such a stadium? And how does it shape wider futures than does the sound of a basketball dribbled or a hockey puck slamming into the boards? Time will tell.

  2. Not to excoriated or criticize the NAACP, but Lennie shouldn’t the article read, Bridgeport and Trumbull,CT are hosting the 52nd Annual State Convention?

    1. Donald,
      The Greater Bridgeport NAACP Branch is but one of nearly 19 of such branches in the State. The State Conference has a committee that plans for each activity. They chose the Trumbull Marriott. They also sent in the publicity to OIB. They did not ask for any assistance in local publicity. At least no such request came across my email in the past four months at least and as Communications Chair for the Bridgeport Branch it likely would have reached me if someone wished assistance.

      Actually, the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Branch 2002 consists of members from the four communities, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford and Trumbull. Hope this information is helpful. Our monthly general meetings are held (except for Holidays) at the Burroughs Community Center, 2470 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06605 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

      Any other questions that I might answer for you? Time will tell.

  3. Imagine listening to well qualified college debaters from Howard University and Harvard University speak to the two Resolutions of this day: “The House believes that Colin Kaepernick chose the wrong tactic of kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem at an NFL game”, and “The House believes that there should be a total ban of all automatic weapons for civilian use.”

    Becoming informed as broadly as possible is necessary to use an informed voice, in a conversation, from a microphone or in the sanctity of a voting booth. Registered? Good. Informed? If not make it a point? Voting? Time will tell.


Leave a Reply