The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People kicks off its annual convention Saturday right here in the Bayou City.
Across downtown Houston, banners are raised. And inside the George R. Brown Convention Center, workers are busy preparing to welcome members of the NAACP.
"We will tell the world again in Houston, Texas, we are alive and well. We've come too far, and we won't turn around," said NAACP member Hazel Dukes.
"I think it's the best place for the platform of the African-American community to be heard and discussed, for us to hare and express ideas," said NAACP member Ketrece Cobb. "It's not one block, but we do have a lot of common goals that we'd like to see happen."
Civil rights activists and local politicians kicked off the convention on Friday. It's expected to draw about 8,000 active NAACP members from across the country this week. Folks like Precious Worth-Byrd and her son Langston told us they plan to attend many workshops.
"You know, just about all the issues are important. You know the economy is an issue, we know that it's going to take some time for that to turn around. Equal pay for females, and for everybody to just be treated fairly," said Worth-Byrd.
The convention's theme this year is "NAACP: Your Power, Your Decision - Vote." Over the next six days, participants will be busy discussing social issues affecting communities across the nation this election year like employment, health care, voter suppression and voter registration.
"One vote may not seem a lot, but it makes a big difference to us. Just having that one vote we can change a lot of things in America and the way that things turn out.," said Langston Byrd.
The civil rights organization announced GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address the large and historically majority Democratic crowd next Wednesday. And Vice President Biden is expected to close out the convention on Thursday.
Organizers tell us most of the events are open to the public, but seating may be limited for some events like the sessions with Romney and VP Biden.
Most of the events and exhibits during the NAACP here are open to the public. To see a schedule and more, visit the NAACP website.