By: Mike Rhodes—
Muncie, IN—After a 19 year hiatus, the NAACP held its 2018 State Convention in Muncie at the Horizon Convention Center, October 25-27. The last NAACP State Convention to be held in Muncie was in 1999 at the Roberts Hotel.
At a press conference at the Horizon Convention Center, Mayor Dennis Tyler said, “I’m very honored for the State NAACP convention to be here. I think what you’re seeing—with the type of sponsors we have—Muncie is a very proud, diverse community that cares about each other. I hope when you leave here, you’ll say, ‘We really need to get back to Muncie.'”
According to George Foley, Jr., NAACP Indiana State Convention chair, the event attracted about 800 people including additional events that were open to the public such as the health fair, job fair, book-signing by Ron Stallworth, and soul food dinner/public mass meeting held at the Greater Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ. Inside the Horizon Convention Center’s Interurban Hall lobby, vendors and exhibitors were able to showcase their wares.
MITS buses shuttled convention attendees to-and-from the Horizon Convention Center and overflow hotels every 30 minutes and also provided transportation to the off-site events, making the trips convenient for attendees.
Keynote speaker for the event was Ron Stallworth. Stallworth is a 32 year, highly decorated law enforcement veteran who worked undercover narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence, and organized crime beats in 4 states. As the first black detective in the Colorado Springs, CO Police Department, Stallworth overcame fierce racial hostility to achieve a long and distinguished career in law enforcement.
Stallworth’s book, Blackkklansman, was published in 2014 and later became the subject of a Spike Lee film by the same name. The film debuted at the Cannes Film festival on May 14, 2018, was released in theaters on August 10, 2018 and additionally released for online video purchase on October 23rd. The film will be available for rental on November 6, 2018.
Upon reflecting on returning to Muncie after 19 years, George Foley, Jr., NAACP Indiana State Convention chair said, “The Horizon Convention Center staff was great. Whatever needs we had, the staff quickly accommodated us. They made things happen. They did a great job for all of our setups, like the health fair, the job fair and all of our workshops in addition to the lunches and breakfasts we had. The food was great.”
William Goins, Indiana NAACP 1st vice-president said, “We have been treated like kings and queens ever since we got here.”
Centrally located in a thriving downtown atmosphere, Horizon Convention Center connects personalized service and expertise to fulfill your custom convention, wedding, or event needs. Your guests will love the heart of Muncie!