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State NAACP conference returning

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BLOOMINGTON - The state conference of the NAACP will meet in Bloomington-Normal later this month for the second time in five years.

Getting the conference again after hosting it in 2002 is an achievement of note for the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the NAACP, said Mike Williams, chapter president.

"We're very honored," Williams said.

The conference, which will run Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 will feature a soul food dinner, gospel music, a health fair and an address by the director of the NAACP Washington Bureau.

The conference will kick off with a community leaders' luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 29 at The Chateau, Bloomington.

Leaders of local government, business, education and law enforcement will give brief "state of the union" addresses at the luncheon. Tickets cost $20.

Williams said he expects about 300 people from 33 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People branches throughout Illinois to attend the conference.

The Bloomington Human Relations Commission will sponsor a soul food dinner and gospel music that night at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, 801 W. Market St., Blooming-ton. The free dinner will start at 6 p.m., the music will follow at 7 p.m.

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The conference will continue on Sept. 30 at The Chateau with a free men's health breakfast at 8 a.m. Local physicians will discuss prostate cancer.

There will be a health fair beginning at 9 a.m. Free HIV testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside a Well-ness on Wheels van.

The conference will continue that evening with a Chateau banquet featuring Hilary Shelton, NAACP director of the Washington Bureau. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Shelton will speak about 7:30 p.m.

Williams said he expects Shelton to discuss voting rights.

NAACP conference

What: 2006 Illinois State Conference of NAACP branches

When: Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Where: The Chateau, Bloom-ington

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