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President Nelson Addresses NAACP Convention in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich.— For the first time on Sunday evening, a president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed the national convention of the NAACP.   

President Russell M. Nelson shared a message of unity in Detroit, urging cooperation and collaboration in society.

It comes at a time when the Church and NAACP are nurturing a friendship, partnering together on an education initiative in several inner cities.

The churchs self-reliance program has been adapted by the NAACP, to help those who are struggling financially.

President Nelson’s remarks were optimistic, speaking of a goal of improving harmony, that he believes can be achieved by loving each other as neighbors.

We don’t have to be alike or look alike to have love for each other. If we have any hope of reclaiming the goodwill and sense of humanity for which we yearn, it must begin with each of us, one person at a time,” he said.

Janson Vinson, a convention attendee from Florida says she was impressed with the words he shared.

He was sincere, you could see everything he says he means, and those kind words of love and peace and unity and working together for a common goal, I think that is just wonderful, she said.

Jeanetta Williams of the Salt Lake Branch of NAACP greeted President Nelson before his speech and sees a bright future between the two organizations. “Our national organization have come to realize the work the church is offering to do in education and humanitarian efforts and we are very happy about this working relationship, she said.

President Nelson was introduced on stage by Dr. Amos Brown, a student of Dr. Martin Luther King and a member of the Board of Directors of NAACP. The two have developed a warm friendship.

As I locked arms with President Nelson, not as black and white, not as Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Baptist, but as children of God who are about loving everybody, he said. President Nelson concluded his remarks, focusing on civility and respect.

“Arm in arm and shoulder to shoulder, may we strive to lift our brothers and sisters everywhere in every way we can, this world will never be the same, President Nelson added.

Reverend Brown says he plans to attend President Nelson’s 95th birthday program in early September. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to address the convention on Monday morning.


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