By Glynda C. Carr
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.
By Morgan Shannon and Jonathan Lewis
“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.
By Glynda C. Carr
On October 11, 1991, 35 year-old Professor Anita Hill appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. During Professor Hill’s testimony, she proclaimed, “It would have been more comfortable to remain silent. I took no initiative to inform anyone. But, when I was asked by a representative of this committee to report my experience, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.”
The Hill-Thomas hearings launched an emotionally-charged public debate on race and gender and catapulted the issue of workplace sexual harassment into the public dialogue.
Although there was some blatant opposition from civil rights groups including the NAACP on the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, there was also a strong belief by some in the African American community that Professor Hill and her allegations (true or not) would stand in the way of ensuring that an African American man would continue serving on the country’s highest court.
By Roslyn M. Brock
On Sunday, our nation dedicated the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall. This momentous occasion was filled with moving tributes and great performances. However, in the wake of this dedication, we cannot help but reflect on the true legacy Dr. King left behind, the faith he had in the next generation, and the dream that we must still strive to achieve.
Without question, few shaped our culture and our nation in the 20th century more than Dr. King. His legacy of social justice and activism has played an integral role in so much of what we take for granted today. Without his advocacy for voting rights, people of color might still be unable to cast a ballot unfettered. If not for his work defending the poor, economic disparity in America would be far more than dire than it is today. And without Dr. King’s call for non-violence, the civil rights movement might be remembered for the bloodshed and not for its message of justice and equality.
L. Joy Williams
It’s time to renew my NAACP membership and without hesitation I will make my annual contribution. I’m not just one of close to 500,000 members nationwide, I also lend my time and energy by serving as first Vice-President of a local branch.
My continued service and commitment to the NAACP doesn’t come without ridicule, especially from my peers. I’ve had numerous conversations about the “relevancy” of the organization, how old the membership and mission is and why it still uses the word “colored” in the organization’s name. A simple Google search will result in a number of blog posts and articles making the same arguments and these arguments will undoubtedly continue as long as the organization exists. So why do I make the choice to lend my time and talent to this historic organization?
No one that engages in the NAACP relevancy conversation can deny the historic accomplishments the organization has garnered in its 102 year history. It is hard to imagine what our lives would be like without the hard work of the NAACP and its millions of members. But the NAACP has more than a historic past, it has a very active present.
Curtis D. Young
With the passage of the Senate Bill 365, “The Budget Control Act of 2011,” I have heard from my party loyalist friends on both sides of the aisle praising the compromise. Democrats are praising the compromise out of loyalty and Republicans are praising because they avoided the possibility of adding new taxes or eliminating Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.
After analyzing this bill myself, I came to the independent conclusion that it is a failed attempt to move the economy forward and once again, it seems that President Obama conceded too much. The most disturbing aspect of this bill would be what it does to graduate students. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 graduate students will no longer receive federal subsidize student loans which delays interest payments until six months after graduation.
Chairman Roslyn M. Brock
Delegates, it’s a joy to be with you in Los Angeles at the 102nd convening of the NAACP under the banner of “Affirming America’s Promise.” Over the past three years, we’ve travelled literally across the country holding our national conventions. We began our second century in 2009 in the great state and city of our birth, the big apple– New York, New York. In 2010, we visited the heartland in the city of fountains Kansas City, Missouri. And now, we’re in the city of Angels, Los Angeles, California, where the sun sets on the continental United States.
L. Joy Williams
The 2012 election season is in full swing and while candidates are entering and exiting the stage at a steady pace what’s still up in the air is who the electorate will be.
All around the country individual states are not only redrawing district lines following the census but some are also changing voter identification laws that may significantly reduce the number of first time voters at the polls. Not to mention the normal process of purging voter lists before a federal election (remember Florida in 2000). With our nation becoming increasingly divided over politics and policy, preserving and expanding every citizen’s right to vote must become a top priority.
Rafiq Kalam Id-Din, founder and managing partner of Teaching Firms of America – Professional Preparatory Charter School and Zakiyah Ansari, a parent organizer with the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) and the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ), provide insightful commentary on the NAACP education lawsuit in New York.
Click here to read their articles
We have seen tremendous progress among African American women with respect to economic and educational gains during the last several decades – Black women have made strides in politics, entertainment, medicine, social sciences, and government. Yet, African American women continue to face significant barriers due to gender discrimination in the labor market leading to major income disparities and chronically high unemployment, coupled with few limited opportunities for asset building and wealth generation.