The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth & College Division, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, named the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council as the “Youth Council of the Year, 2019” and Advisor Arlanda Brantley the “Clara Luper Youth Advisor of the Year” at the 110th Annual NAACP National Convention in Detroit, MI last week. 

The NAACP Youth & College Division’s Annual Convention Awards are given to youth units, advisors and State Youth & College Divisions who have displayed exemplary dedication and commitment to the mission and vision of the NAACP. After being defunct for years, the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council picked up the legacy of Ms. Katherine “Kay” Wyrick after their official reactivation in 2018. With the motto of “Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges”, the members of the Waterbury Pride NAACP Youth Council continue to lead the way as the leaders of today, partnering with over 20 community organizations and individuals in the Brass City and Beyond.

“The youth council was reformed with a mission to allow the city’s youth to have a seat at the table.” (Arlanda Brantley, Waterbury Youth Council Advisor, 2018). 

I was so excited to attend our first annual convention after being officially activated, said Amari Brantley, President of the Waterbury Pride Youth Council, we couldn’t have done it without the support of the numerous donors including Connecticut Community Foundation, Waterbury Police Department, Waterbury Bridge to Success and other individual donors to allow 6 of us to strongly represent Waterbury.

Akia S.Callum, an alumnus of Post University and President of the Connecticut State Conference NAACP Youth & College Division also received the National Youth & College Director “Organizer of the Year” Award for Region II.

“Leadership is a verb, not a noun. I am extremely proud that the members of the Waterbury Youth Council were recognized at our 110th  Annual National NAACP Convention this year. I am even more grateful to having the privilege of knowing each one of the youth council members by name, they are truly leaders of today and are destined for greatness.” (Akia S. Callum, President of the Connecticut State Conference Y&C Division).

Each applicant is asked to demonstrate their level of creative leadership, commitment to people of color and the impact to improve our communities. As organizers in the work for racial and economic justice, this work is hard to do and the Waterbury Pride Youth Council deserves a moment to be celebrated for the commitment, vision and victories in alignment with the NAACP mission and our Waterbury Community.

For more information on joining the Waterbury Pride Youth Council, contact advisor Arlanda Brantley at 203-296-0451.


The NAACP Convention brings together over 10,000 activists, organizers, and leaders to set policies priorities for the coming year. Highlights will include a CEO Roundtable, a legislative session, LGBTQ workshop, the awarding of the prestigious Spingarn Medal to Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, and the signature NAACP Experience retail expo and diversity career fair. More information about the 110th Annual NAACP National Convention, including a detailed schedule of events may be found by visiting naacp

About the NAACP:  Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.