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AREA NAACP PLANS DINNER, SPEAKER

The NAACP's national director of education will be the featured speaker at the Buffalo Chapter NAACP Annual Awards Dinner on June 8 in the Buffalo Convention Center.

John Jackson, 30, is the youngest education director in the history of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He is expected to speak on a number of issues related to the NAACP's current educational policies.

Frank Mesiah, president of the Buffalo chapter, said the local organization asked Jackson to speak at the dinner because of interest among local members in issues such as public school accessibility and equitable funding and accountability.

Jackson holds five college degrees: political science; law; education policy; administration and planning; and social policy, according to his biography.

He worked briefly in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and as a program analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Small Business Program, where he served as a liaison between the Department of Labor and the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

This year's awards recipients for human service, community service, civil rights and youth, are: Crystal Barton, principal of McKinley High School; FATHERS, a community organization that promotes student safety; Clifford Bell, a civil rights activist; Wesley Hicks Jr., vice president of the National Medical Association; Woodie and Dorothy Durham, formerly with the Erie County Sheriff's Department; and youths Karen Boston and Ronald Daniels III.

Those who have purchased life memberships to the NAACP Buffalo chapter also will be honored.

Tickets to the annual awards dinner are $40 per person and can be purchased by calling the local office at 884-7242.

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