The SHSU chapter of the NAACP will host its annual Brotherhood / Sisterhood Conference Feb. 27 through March 2 in the LSC Mall Area.
“A few years ago, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People decided to start a conference. It had humble beginnings but has grown every year,” said Janaeya Carmouche, student and public relations director of the conference.
This year marks the fifth year of the program at SHSU. An estimated 150 people attended the conference last year, and this year the NAACP is expecting 200.
“We’re hoping to match last year and exceed it,” Carmouche said.
Every year, students from various other Texas schools come to Huntsville to participate in the conference.
“Almost all the schools here (in Texas) will come,” said Carmouche.
Other Texas colleges and universities expected to attend are the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M, Texas A&M, the University of Texas, Southwest Texas State University, Stephen F. Austin State University, and many others.
The conference is open to all students, and addresses student oriented concerns through seminars offered throughout the week. Such issues include, but are not limited to: religion, money, relationships and American history from an African American standpoint.
Registration for the event begins Feb. 3 in the mall area, and will last until Feb. 14. Regular registration costs $20, and includes food, entertainment, all seminars and workshops, a T-shirt, and various other Brotherhood/Sisterhood Conference items. Late registration lasts until the final day of the conference, and is $25.
This year’s theme for the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Conference is “Closing the Gaps; Closing the Gates – BSC 2003.”
A week before the conference starts, the NAACP will promote the event in the mall area and try to get SHSU students involved. The group will be handing out free shirts, drinks and food.
“We’re trying to get people pumped and excited about the conference,” said Bethany Duncan, one of the conference chairs. “I want to encourage everyone to come out. It’s a great opportunity to learn about each other.”
Duncan said the events to be held Monday through Wednesday are geared for SHSU students.
“Our focus is the SHSU campus – we want people to come out and support our NAACP,” Duncan said. Because other schools will arrive in Huntsville on Thursday, the remainder of the week includes all students attending the conference, from both SHSU and other schools.
During the conference different events are held each night of the week at the Lowman Student Center. Monday night is the kick-off party in the mall area, with a VIP party for those who have already registered. There will be entertainment and food provided, and Duncan said it will be “a good, casual time.”
A Black History Program will be held Tuesday. The NAACP invites all organizations on campus to participate and get involved. Campus organizations will recite poetry, act and express themselves in many other ways in tribute to African American heritage.
Wednesday is the Gospel Explosion and Poet’s Lounge, where students registered for the event will have the opportunity to sing, give praise and recite their poetry.
The actual Brotherhood/Sisterhood Conference begins Thursday, and lasts through Sunday. Thursday will feature the Community Service Project, speeches from guest speakers, a comedy show and the Jazz Ball.
Registration for students at schools other than SHSU begins on Friday. Later that evening there will be a dinner with the guest speakers, a comedy show, poetry reading, and a party.
Round table discussions, workshops, a job fair, and a formal banquet will be held on Saturday. Jeffery I. Johnson, the National Youth and College director of the NAACP will speak at the banquet. Following the dinner, a concert and party will be held.
Attending church on Sunday ends the conference.
For more information regarding the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Conference, look for the NAACP in the mall area Feb. 3, or email