Connecticut Community Foundation Helps Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council Have A Seat At The Table At The National 110th NAACP Annual Convention.

In 1998, Priscilla Whittemore established a fund at Connecticut Community Foundation to “encourage the development of peace, justice and understanding,” which she believed was best achieved by making it possible for young people to interact with a broad and diverse cross section of youth with different backgrounds and experiences.

Grants from the fund foster community building, cultural exchange, and a core value of learning by doing. The Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council was awarded a $3,000 grant from the Priscilla Whittemore Travel Fund to enable a delegation of teens to attend the 110th annual NAACP National Convention in Detroit. The mission of the NAACP Youth Council is to create public awareness of the necessity of youth involvement, as well as to be leaders and trendsetters in the area of youth leadership and civil rights training. Detroit was the perfect backdrop for the 110th (NAACP) Convention and an unforgettable experience for the teens in 2019. Known as “America’s Comeback City” for its resilience and the “Motor City” for its ties to the auto industry, it truly is a city of culture and strength. Arlanda Brantley, the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Advisor, said, “It was very appropriate that the motto of the annual NAACP convention was ‘When We Fight We Win’, because we made a commitment to fight for the causes we thought were important in our community and hoped to be able to have a seat at the table at the 2019 convention and came back winning three awards!”

While there, Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council won the following awards:

  • The Clara Luper Supportive Youth Advisor Award to Arlanda Brantley
  • The NAACP Youth Council of the Year Award
  • The CT Youth and College Presidential Scholarship to Samaia Brantley
  • The CT Youth and College Presidential Scholarship to Jonathan McKenzie

The NAACP Youth & College Division’s Annual Convention Awards are given to youth units, advisors and State Youth & College Divisions who have displayed exemplary dedication and commitment to the mission and vision of the NAACP. Julie Loughran, President & CEO of The Connecticut Community Foundation remarked that “It’s great to see Waterbury youth leaders receiving this kind of recognition for their work. We are thrilled that the youth council members had the opportunity to share their efforts, network with other youth councils, and come back to Waterbury motivated to become even more powerful change agents in our community.” Brantley said, “Most of the kids from the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council had never traveled out of state. The kids got to meet older and younger pioneers within the black community. As inner city kids, it was very exciting for them to dress up every day and to be in a business setting with a schedule geared towards youth engagement that really kept their interest!”

The Youth Council took part in a 4-day intensive workshop at the convention that touched on many game-changing topic that included: environmental change, financial literacy, voter registration, and so much more. They also learned how to serve as delegates and vote on major subjects as part of an assembly that included thousands of people from all over the world. Connecticut Community Foundation is proud to have supported the Youth Council as they gather the tools, knowledge and inspiration they need to make lasting, positive change in Waterbury and beyond.  As Black History Month draws to a close, we’re confident that the members of the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council will be making their own history, all year long and for many years to come. Read more about the Foundation’s grassroots grants.