Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Day Dawning for Cleveland NAACP | Django Gets 5 Oscar nominations

It’s sorely needed and it has been a long time coming, but a new era will be ushered in next week for the Cleveland NAACP.

This Sunday, a new set of officers, featuring a new president for the first time in twenty years, will be sworn to serve for the next two years. Hilton Smith was elected as president by in November in what was the highest turnout by local branch membership since 1992, when former Cleveland City Council president George Forbes defeated Rev. Larry Harris and former Cleveland councilwoman Mildred Madison in a dramatic three-way race.

This year Smith, a longtime executive with Turner Construction, handily defeated venerable NAACP activist Jocelyn Travis and up-and-coming businessman Clint Bradley.

Smith and his cabinet, which includes Rev. E. T. Caviness, Bishop F. E. Perry, and retired judge Sara Harper as first, second, and third vice presidents, will be sworn in along with all twenty-four members of the group’s executive committee.

Smith has said one of his main objectives will be to engage young people with the organization.

That task is likely to be a major challenge for the Branch’s incoming executive director, whose hiring will be voted on by the newly-installed executive committee when it meets this Monday, January 14, at 6PM at University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 East 107 Street, Cleveland OH 44106. [Map

Both the day of the meeting and the location may signal a change for the organization, which for years has met on Tuesdays in its severely cramped and unattractive local office on Stokes Drive.

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Quick Hit: Django Unchained has been nominated for five Academy Awards. The controversial film bagged nominations for best picture, best supporting actor [Christopher Waltz), best original screenplay, best cinematography, and best sound editing.

Other Oscar notes: Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln set the pace with twelve nominations including best picture. Also, Denzel Washington was nominated for his turn in Flight.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, February 24 in Hollywood and broadcast live on ABC [WEWS-TV5 in Cleveland].

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