HOUSTON -

Despite rainy Sunday weather, thousands of people turned out to take part in the NAACP National Convention held in Houston.

Participants at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston spent Sunday exchanging ideas, starting with a prayer breakfast.

A lineup of legal seminar topics -- centered on fair housing, recent supreme court rulings, legislative updates and environmental justice -- followed the breakfast.

At a woman's brunch, speakers focused on empowering young girls. The NAACP ACT-SO awards ceremony also drew a huge crowd as high school students from across the country gathered at the convention center.

ACT-SO stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics.

After the teens spent the year in the NAACP program, many received awards for their talents in technology, science, business and the arts.

"It just means so much, because it's amazing to here your name called and to get up on stage," said Simone Miles, a silver award winner for photography.

Special guest speaker and actor Anthony Anderson was also there. He's a past ACT-SO award winner, and he said he came to applaud the next generation's achievements.

"I think what the NAACP is doing with the convention and awards is just great for our youth," Anderson said.

The days ahead will be filled with major speakers like Vice President Joe Biden and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The convention continues through July 12.