By Anaridis Rodriguez

ROXBURY (CBS) — It was standing room-only in Roxbury on Thursday as NAACP leaders officially announced their plans to bring the 111th convention to Boston next year. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins were in attendance.

Board members for the civil rights organization said Boston was not on the radar for hosting the convention, but the energy of the city and its communities convinced them to bring the event to the city that established the association’s first charter. The last time the convention was held in Boston was in 1982.

“In Boston we stand for civil rights and social justice, the enduring values of the NAACP,” Walsh said. “Our city is succeeding because we lede with those values.”

The convention is set to happen at the end of July. Leaders say the event will address topics such as mass incarceration, substance abuse and mental health.

Members of the NAACP have been in the city the past week visiting the venues that will host the convention. The association’s chairman said the timing of the convention is unique because it’s happening months ahead of the presidential election.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to transform what could be simply a moment in our history into a renewed, catalytic movement,” NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha M. Sullivan said.

“When we come here we will create a stage,” the chairman said. “We will create a new dialogue about what’s happening with our decision to determine who will lead the policy-making of this nation.

Anaridis Rodriguez

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