Mayor Wu Announces Series of Events During Week of National NAACP Convention
Building on today’s press conference previewing the 2023 NAACP National Convention, Mayor Michelle Wu today announced a slate of free, family friendly events and programming open to residents and visitors throughout the week of the convention in July. This year’s National Convention will focus on the theme of Thriving Together by inviting change-makers from across the country to celebrate the Black community’s collective power. These events will complement the National Convention and provide opportunities for residents, families and visitors to build community, support local Black-led artists and businesses and engage with the City of Boston.
“Boston is thrilled to be hosting the 2023 NAACP National Convention led by the nation’s historic first chartered branch,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we continue to work towards this historic event, these free, family friendly events and programming are for residents, families and visitors to enjoy throughout the week of the convention. We look forward to seeing residents and visitors gather together and I encourage everyone to engage with these amazing opportunities.”
“We are honored to welcome the 2023 NAACP National Convention to Massachusetts,” said Governor Maura T. Healey. “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together inspired, innovative leaders from the NAACP community and spark ideas that will translate into positive action across the country. We encourage visitors and residents alike to take part in the exciting events that will take place across the region to celebrate this meaningful occasion.”
“Each year, NAACP members, friends, and elected leaders gather at the Convention in a shared space that has proven vital for our collective growth and advocacy,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “This space, intently curated each year by the Association’s local branch, state conference, and national leaders, provides us with the ability to harness the power of Black America. We use this sacred time to inspire each other and align on what we need to do to continue pushing this country forward. Now more than ever, this sacred convening is crucial to our continued fight for the preservation of democracy. We are excited to bring vitality and vibrance to our roots in Boston, home of the Association’s first chartered branch.”
“The 114th National NAACP Convention is an important marker for our City and the Commonwealth, and presents an opportunity for us to reintroduce ourselves to the nation as a community that is doing the work necessary to challenge racism and all of its structures,” said Tanisha Sullivan, President of the NAACP Boston Branch. “This convention will make a difference in the City. We look forward to welcoming everyone and we look forward to thriving together.”
As part of the NAACP National Convention’s programming, the City is partnering with the NAACP, Governor Healey’s office, Artist Initiative for Revolution (AIR Boston), other organizations and local artists on the following events in the City of Boston throughout the week of the convention between July 26 and July 30, 2023:
Friday, July 28, 2023
Opening Reception - Friday, July 28, 2023 5 - 7 p.m.
This event hosted by the City of Boston and NAACP National serves as a kickoff event for the NAACP’s 114th National Convention. The reception will be held at The Hub at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center - Hall A with music by DJ Jazzy Jeff. The event is free and open to the public with registration.
Culture Nights Music Festival - Friday, July 28, 2023 6 - 9 p.m.
This event organized by AIR Boston & City of Boston will feature performances celebrating Boston’s historic legacy and communities by various local artists and creatives. This event is a welcoming and inclusive event that is free and open to the public. This festival will be held at 65 Northern Avenue.
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Mayor and Governor Delegates Reception - Saturday, July 29, 2023 7 - 11 p.m.
This reception co-hosted by Mayor Wu and Governor Healey will create space for delegates attending the convention and community members from across Boston’s neighborhoods to gather and be together for a night of celebration and strengthening connections. This event is free and open to the public with registration.
Sunday, July 30, 2023
23rd Annual GospelFest - Sunday, July 30, 2023 5 - 9 p.m.
Note: Interfaith prayer service 4 - 4:30 p.m.
This annual event serves as New England’s largest Gospel music celebration. This year’s GospelFest, hosted by MAJOR, will include performances by Fred Hammond, Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, and the Mayor’s Gospel Choir. The concert celebrates Boston’s communities and supports local and national gospel artists through awareness and greater visibility. The event will also include an Interfaith Prayer Service from 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. The concert will be held at Leader Bank Pavilion.
In addition to the above programming, the NAACP National Convention is encouraging residents and visitors to explore The Hub, the Convention’s premier gathering space featuring music, food, and family-friendly activities. The Hub’s programming will also include a Block Party and Career Summit for visitors. From Friday, July 28 through Sunday July 30 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center – Hall A, The Hub will be free and open to the public at the following times. For more information, please visit naacp.org/thehub.
- Friday, July 28 (Hub Opening Block Party): 2 - 9 p.m.
- Saturday, July 29 (Career Summit): 11 - 6 p.m.
- Sunday, July 30 (General Programming): 12 - 6 p.m.
To register to attend the NAACP National Convention, please visit https://naacp.org/convention/registration. For more information about this year’s NAACP National Convention, please visit boston.gov/naacp-convention.