Program to Train Black Church Leaders in 30 U.S. Cities to Educate Parishioners on HIV Screening, Treatment and Prevention
(New York City) – Today, onstage at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, the NAACP and its partner, Gilead Sciences, announced a joint CGI Commitment to Action to enlist faith leaders as change agents to address the disparate impact of HIV/AIDS on the African American community. Over the next five years, this unique partnership will expand its pilot program, The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative, to reach the 30 cities that account for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s HIV epidemic.
“The Black Church and the NAACP have been partners in the struggle for social justice for more than a century. Today, our fight is against a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately impacts the lives of African Americans,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “For years, many felt that a discussion about HIV/AIDS had no place in African American houses of worship. However, the Black Church remains the cornerstone of our community and must be a critical voice and partner in helping to combat the HIV crisis.” Video of the CGI presentation
Women have served an integral role in the history of the NAACP, and they continue to play a vital role today.
The story of the NAACP begins with a woman. On February 12, 1909, a white journalist and woman’s suffragist named Mary White Ovington joined with two other activists to call for a national conference on the civil and political rights of African-Americans. The ensuing conference was called the National Negro Committee, and it was soon renamed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Ovington served as the third chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors from 1919-1934 – the highest position in the NAACP — and twice as Executive Secretary — then the highest position on the NAACP staff. She added a woman’s touch to NAACP leadership in its first few seminal decades, helping to build a strong field staff against seemingly insurmountable odds, protest racist depictions in the media like “Birth of a Nation”, and push for anti-lynching legislation.
In Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Cecil Gaines and his son want the same thing: equal protection under the law. The film is an important reminder that there are many different ways to play a significant part in achieving that dream.
Forest Whitaker delivers a commanding performance as Cecil Gaines — the fictional character loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, who grew up on a plantation and became a butler at the White House, where he served eight consecutive presidents. Cecil is a master of his emotions and has a deep understanding of his place in the social order: whether on the farm or in the Oval Office, his job is always to be in the room without being noticed.
I cannot begin to imagine how hard these past 17 months have been for Sybrina Fulton.
Sybrina lost her son, Trayvon Martin, to a senseless act of violence. She watched the media create a caricature of her son as a thug, and burden him with assumptions about what it means to be a young black teen. And, after a long and painful trial, she saw Trayvon’s killer go free.
We all say “We Are Trayvon” and feel a sense of pain when we think of this tragedy, but Sybrina was a physical part of Trayvon, bound by blood and the love between mother and son.
This past weekend, NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock returned to her hometown of Ft. Pierce, Florida for a Get-Out-The-Vote canvass sponsored by the NAACP and coordinated with Tamika Mallory, Executive Director at the National Action Network. Volunteers from the local chapters knocked on over 300 doors to ensure that everyone in the town was encouraged to vote on Election Day and make their voice heard. Chairman Brock returned to her hometown because it is important to her that the people there know that their vote matters this election season.
On Election Day, please remember to go out and vote because as Chairman Brock says, “Courage can not skip this generation!”
“But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and I offer no apologies for my race or for my color.”
Chairman Roslyn M. Brock addresses the 103rd NAACP Annual Convention
Thank you Vivica! Wow! I am humbled by that introduction – humbled and inspired to do even more to implement the NAACP’s agenda with a sense of urgency.
The standard thing to say when you are introduced by a nine-year old is, “She is our future!” But here she is now, right in the present. When I look at Vivica, I am confident that courage will not skip her generation. Let’s give her another huge round of applause.
Officers and members of the NAACP National Board, President/CEO
Jealous, national office staff, delegates, observers and friends of the
NAACP, welcome to Houston, Texas and the opening session of the 103rd
I have friends who make rallies and marches their hobby. They are experts in sign making and have special clothing including jackets with buttons that tell the story of every rally and protest they have ever participated in. I on the other hand have long ago packed away my protest jacket. Not because I disagree with the goals and merits of rallies and protests but simply because I have chosen a different path of civic action. But this Saturday, I will pull my protest jacket out of storage, put on some comfortable shoes and hit the streets to protest what is the greatest coordinated attack on voting rights since the dawn of the Jim Crow era.
Just this year alone, 34 state legislators have introduced voter suppression legislation with laws passing in 14 of those states and laws up for consideration soon in 8. New state laws such as voter ID requirements and eliminating or cutting early voting opportunities disproportionately impact people of color, students, seniors and immigrants. None of this is by accident. The attack on your right to vote has been guided by Charles and David Koch through their funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who has convinced legislators to propose these oppressive laws. The Koch brothers have also contributed close to a quarter million dollars directly to candidates that support the suppression legislation.
Almost 40 years ago, Shirley Chisholm boldly declared her candidacy for president and changed the face of leadership by challenging the status quo. She once said, “I am, was, and always will be a catalyst for change.” She made an enormous impact on women (particularly Black women) and the way they perceived political power and leadership.
If she were alive today, November 30th would mark Chisholm’s 87th birthday. A daughter of immigrants – who not only aspired to transform her community but a nation – became the quintessential leader that inspired a generation of women to think and lead boldly.
“Virginia, I want you to know that you are not invisible because I see You” – Chairman Roslyn M. Brock.
During this year’s NAACP convention, the Health Department created a “tag line” for their youth workshop entitled, Get HYPE- Healthy Young People Everywhereas a unique way to attract young health advocates and present our national health initiatives. Based on the positive feedback, we decided to expand the workshop to a national college tour designed to engage young advocates attending universities in conversations around health and civil rights. The featured speaker on this tour was our own health advocate, Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. The Chairman spoke to students on the campuses of Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and her alma mater Virginia Union University (VUU) on Monday, November 7, 2011.
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