Hundreds gathered in the Grand Ballroom at the Marriot in downtown Oakland to hear Outgoing NAACP President Benjamin Jealous speak Wednesday at the 10th annual meeting and awards luncheon of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce.
Jealous, who is leaving the NAACP in December after serving as its president for the past five years, described the NAACP’s push past adversity as it reopened all regional offices, national programs, tripled voter registration, and increased its membership.
“God put us here not to be grasshoppers but giants. Great things are expected, not from some of us but from each of us,” said Jealous, acknowledging the work of the chamber and also encouraging the organization to continuously push for inclusion and opportunity.
“[We] must encourage our most talented young people to keep being entrepreneurs, as a viable path for them,” he said. “When you look at the vibrancy in this room, the vibrancy of leadership that was here, it is clear that the chamber is on the right track.”
KTVU News Anchor Dave Clark was master of ceremonies. The chamber presented The Clorox Company with a “Corporation of the Year” Award. The Ramsell Corporation received the Oscar J. Coffey Small Business Award, and the business 360 Award was given to Comcast.
Ray Carlisle, president of NID-Housing Counseling Agency, Oakland mayoral candidate Bryan Parker and Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church were all in attendance.
For more information about the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, visit http://chamber.mbakop.com/site/