The Alachua County Branch of the
“Conscience of a Nation!”
Greetings NAACP Members, (2) ACADEMIC, CULTURAL,
TECHNOLOGICAL and SCIENTIFIC
The Alachua County Branch is on a ―Rebuilding The- OLYMPICS (ACT-SO)
Branch‖ Campaign. Each month, we will highlight ACT-SO programs span most of a year beginning in
five or six committees, identify chairperson and the fall, followed by planning and coaching of
committee members and direct them by creating long- participants through winter months, culminating in
term and short-term goals. The committees for the nearly 200 local competitions that run through April.
month of February are below: The ACT-SO program is based on the dedication and
commitment of more than 100 community volunteers
(1) POLITICAL ACTION – VOTER and business leaders that serve as mentors and coaches.
Students compete in 25 ACT-SO categories including
The NAACP Political Action – Voter Empowerment business, sciences, humanities, performing and visual
Committee has historically been involved in Voter arts. Music and dramatic performances are a perennial
Empowerment in Alachua County developing the first favorite of participants but organizers hope to cultivate
early voting campaign after learning about a similar growth in the entrepreneurship and science categories
campaign established in south Florida. The committee in coming years. Major initiatives are being launched
has developed a 2008 Voter Empowerment Program, a to enhance math and science entries that demonstrate
nonpartisan campaign designed to empower African young people's analytical and critical thinking abilities.
American and people of color by increasing awareness
and participation in the electoral process. The VEP '08 Categories
Goal is to increase African American voter turnout by Architecture; Biology/Microbiology;
5% more than the 2004 turnout. Chemistry/Biochemistry; Computer Science;
Physics/General; Music Composition; Original Essay;
KEY DISPARITIES THAT INFORM THE 2008 Playwriting; Poetry; Dance; Dramatics; Music-
VOTER EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM (VEP '08) Instrumental/Classical; Music-Vocal Contemporary;
In 2004, 67.9% of whites were registered Music- Vocal/Classical; Music- Instrument/Classical;
compared to 64.4% of blacks Oratory; Drawing; Film-Making/Video; Painting;
In 2004, 60.3% of whites voted compared to Photography; Sculpture; Mathematics;
56.3% of blacks Entrepreneurship; Earth and Space Sciences; Medicine
In 2000 and 2004, the percentage of uncounted & Health; Engineering
votes was higher in minority neighborhoods
with high poverty (3) EDUCATION – preK-12 COMMITTEE
The overall goal of the NAACP Education Committee
VEP '08 MOBILIZATION STRATEGY (preK-12) is to ensure that all students have access to
Overall, the VEP '08 plan includes 5 components: (1) an equal and high-quality public education by
Voter Registration; (2) Voter Education; (3) Election eliminating all education related racial and ethnic
Administration; (4) Election Protection; (5) Get-Out- disparities. Those issues are:
1. Increasing Teacher Quality: Schools with heavy
concentrations of minority students have an average of
78% of math teachers teaching outside of their subject
area. The NAACP is committed not only to ensuring NAACP Goal: Reduce Obesity Disparities and
that minority children are taught by qualified teachers, related diseases--diabetes, hypertension, heart
but we are also committed to ensuring that teachers disease
receive the supports necessary to do their jobs
effectively. Obesity: According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), 77 percent of Black women and
2. Promoting Parent and Family Engagement: 62 percent of Black men are overweight - which helps
Research has established that sustained parental explain why we lead in many statistics for obesity-
involvement is critical to the educational success of related conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and
children. Unfortunately, black families are less likely cancer.
to manage the amount of time their children spend
reading, doing homework or watching TV. The NAACP Goal: Promote the development of good
NAACP is committed to helping parents become more mental health practices and programs.
directly engaged in the education of their children.
Mental Health: Minorities are less likely to receive
3. Enhancing Early Childhood and Literacy needed mental health services, often receive a poorer
Initiatives: Early childhood education has been shown quality of mental health care treatment, and are
to be an important predictor of future academic and underrepresented in mental health research.
emotional success for children. Still, far too many
minority children start kindergarten performing far NAACP Goal: Reduce disparities in respiratory
below their potential as a result of their inability to diseases.
access quality early childhood education programs.
The NAACP is committed to enhancing early learning Respiratory Diseases: African Americans have similar
opportunities for all students. rates of cigarette smoking as Whites (22% vs. 24%
respectively in 2002) and lower overall exposure to
(4) HEALTH AFFAIRS tobacco smoke, but are more likely to develop and die
The NAACP Health Department's goals are to develop from lung cancer. Black men are at least 50 percent
national health education initiatives; expand more likely to develop lung cancer and 36 percent
community outreach; and sponsor collaborative more likely to die from the disease than White men.
programs with other national and local health
organizations. NAACP Goal: Provide residents with proper health
education and prescription drug use.
NAACP Goal: Ensure access to high-quality Literacy and Health Knowledge: Patients with limited
affordable healthcare health literacy have less awareness of preventive health
Racial Disparities and Access to Healthcare: measures and less knowledge of their medical
Minorities are less likely to be insured and more likely conditions and self-care instructions than their more
to receive substandard care than non-minorities even literate counterparts. This knowledge deficit has been
when access-related factors, such as patients' insurance documented for a variety of health conditions, ranging
status and income, are controlled. from childhood fever to asthma to hypertension.
Persons with limited health literacy skills also exhibit
NAACP Goal: Eliminate disparities in HIV/AIDS. less healthy behaviors. This also includes prescription
drug use and abuse.
HIV/AIDS: There are now an estimated 1.3 million
Americans living with HIV; nearly half of them are (5) RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
Black. African Americans represent over 51% of the The NAACP has always had a strong relationship with
new HIV infections in the United States. the religious community- one of its closest allies for
nearly a century. From the beginning, the NAACP has
been regarded as the fighting arm of many churches
with numerous members participating on both fronts.
Many NAACP units are led by ministers and other
church officials, and churches often hold NAACP
membership drives as part of their community Social Security and proposed changes to how the
activities. system currently operates.
Religious Affairs Committee would coordinate an ―Due to the ongoing national debate about
annual NAACP Religious Community Day and
changes to Social Security and the possible effect
NAACP Religious Leadership Summit; participate on
the programs of the Alachua County branch; assist in
of these changes on the community, the NAACP
membership and fundraising campaigns for the strongly believes in engaging dialog with African
Branch; educate pastors, churches and religious leaders American college students across the country to
on the history and programs of the NAACP, and educate them on the issue,‖ said NAACP Youth &
present moral and ethical interpretations of the civil College Division Director Stefanie L. Brown. ―We
rights struggle and the church's relationship to the recognize that Social Security is a program that
struggle for all denominations. affects not only the future, but present life as
Of course, committee membership is preceded by
NAACP membership. The greater the membership, The major component of YBS is the Social
the more that we can accomplish. So please encourage
Security student forums that will take place on 25
your family members, friends, associates, and
businesses that you patronize, that a membership in the
NAACP College Chapter campuses around the
NAACP is a statement that she or he is about the country. YBS forums will take place through
business of making a difference in today‘s society. March at Ohio University, Ohio State University,
Thank you. Bowling Green State University, Benedict
College, Lane College, University of Central
Dr. Michael Bowie, President Oklahoma, Prarie View A & M University,
Alachua County NAACP Wayne State University, University of North
Texas, University of Michigan, Hofstra
University, New York University, St. John‘s
******** NATIONAL NEWS ******* University, University of Stony Brook, the
University of Buffalo, Spelman College, North
Carolina Central University, Princeton University,
Troy University, Alabama A&M University,
Alabama State University, University of
Oklahoma, Savannah State University, Baylor
University and the University of Arkansas. For
more information on the forum in your area,
National Press Releases contact the NAACP Youth & College Division at
410/580-5657 or email@example.com.
February 26, 2008
'Young, Black & Secure' Forums Come to 25 In addition to the information about Social
Campuses to Educate about Social Security Security provided during the forums, students will
receive a YBS tool-kit that will contain fact sheets
Through the generous support of the Ford and resource lists for their continued education.
Foundation and contributions from Global Justice,
Inc., the NAACP Youth & College Division has In an effort to personalize the impact of Social
created Young, Black & Secure, a nationwide Security on African American young people,
Social Security empowerment initiative. Young, personal testimonies will be documented from at
Black & Secure (YBS) is aimed at increasing least 30 African American college students during
African American students' knowledge about the course of the project. A compilation of the
testimonies will be formulated into a report,
included on the Youth & College Division This is a wonderful opportunity for the NAACP to
webpage and distributed to national organizations, gather and share information first hand about
media outlets and NAACP units. the status of active duty personnel and veterans in
all branches of the United States armed forces."
Students will also receive subsequent information
through local NAACP College Chapters, e-mail Brock is one of 50 JCOC 75 participants selected
updates, and information via the NAACP website from a pool of nominees developed by senior
at: www.naacp.org. civilian and military leadership from the
Department of Defense as well as alumni of the
February 22, 2008 JCOC program. Brock was nominated by the
NAACP Vice Chairwoman to Participate in authority of the Commander of Air Force Special
Department of Defense’s 75th Joint Civilian Operations Command, Lt. Gen Donald Wurster.
The conference will be hosted by the U.S.
NAACP Vice Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock was Southern Command, which is responsible for
recently selected to participate in the 75th Joint providing contingency planning, operations and
Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC), security cooperation for Central and South
commencing April 18-26. JCOC is the oldest America, the Caribbean, Cuba and the Bahamas,
existing Pentagon outreach program, having been and their territorial waters; as well as for the force
held 74 times since its inception in 1948. A protection of U.S. military resources at these
Secretary of Defense sponsored program, JCOC is locations.
reserved for American leaders interested in
expanding their knowledge of the military and JCOC alumni are encouraged to share their
national defense. experiences with their circles of influence when
they return home.
JCOC 75 participants will visit five countries,
three forward operating locations, two naval bases Many NAACP members have served honorably in
and a Navy carrier in U.S. Southern Command‘s our nation‘s armed forces. The NAACP maintains
area of responsibility over the 8-day period. JCOC branches on U.S. military installations in
participants attend briefings by senior military and Germany, Italy and Japan.
civilian officials followed by hands-on experience
observing exercises, participating in training and February 20, 2008
interacting with troops stationed across the globe Unprecedented Consortium Unites Around 4th
who are engaged in our nation's commercial, Annual 'Film Your Issue' Global Competition
diplomatic, humanitarian and military interests in
locations that may be unknown to many USA TODAY, The United Nations, The
Americans. Associated Press, The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, the NAACP, the Humane Society of
Brock is Director of Advocacy and Public Policy the United States, MTV, YouTube, MySpace, The
at Bon Secours Health System headquartered in American Film Institute and a roster of American
Marriottsville, Maryland and serves as a Trustee leaders, led by Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw,
for the Catholic Health Association of the United have joined forces to engage young adults ages 14
States of America. "I'm honored to have been to 24 in promoting social issues using the power
invited by the Secretary of Defense to participate of the Internet.
in such a prestigious program,‖ Brock said. ―I look
forward to learning more about the U.S. military In its 4th year, Film Your Issue – FYI, has grown
particularly around issues related to health care. into a global internet-based competition inviting
more than 25 million high school and college Harvey Weinstein and others. Public voting will
students in the U.S. alone to engage in fostering occur on MTV‘s website.
contemporary issues by creating and uploading
two-minute short films on issues that impact their Prizes to 10 winning films include internships at
generation. In addition to taking the pulse of USA TODAY, the United Nations, P.O.V. and the
young adults on issues, FYI encourages young Humane Society and a $5,000 cash prize from The
people to add their voice to the public dialogue, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Strong
and underscores how individual voices can American Schools. Winning films will be
influence public debate. broadcast on Starz, and a finalist profiled on MTV
News. In addition, FYI presents two additional
―The internet has become one of the most potent annual awards: The Walter Cronkite Civic
platforms of social change, social activism and Engagement Leadership Award to an academic
raising consciousness,‖ said HeathCliff Rothman, institution, and The Eleanor Roosevelt
founder and president of FYI - FILM YOUR Humanitarian Award, to an individual.
ISSUE. ―With the rapidly evolving technology
which puts filmmaking capabilities into the hands Winners from past competitions have gone on to
of young people, this competition brings those work in major Hollywood production companies,
elements – the internet, social activism and user- been invited to present their film on Capitol Hill,
generated-content -- together dynamically. We are and recently co-produced the Sundance Grand
excited as we begin the 4th round that this Jury Award winner. Entries from past rounds have
unprecedented consortium of organizations has come from all points across the U.S., as well as
joined with us to encourage the next generation of Iran, the Philippines, Russia, Hong Kong, Israel,
leaders, and provide a global platform for pressing the U.K., Argentina and elsewhere. .
Partners for the 2008 FYI competition are: USA
Starting Feb. 15, participants could begin TODAY, The Associated Press, the United
uploading their work on multiple participating Nations, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
platforms including MTV, YouTube and AFI MTV, MySpace, YouTube, NAACP, the Humane
Screen Nation, after registering at Society of the United States, The American Film
www.filmyourissue.com. Select entries will be Institute Silverdocs and AFI Screen Nation,
highlighted on MySpace TV and distributed by Natural Resources Defense Council, PBS award-
The Associated Press to its 1,800 U.S. media winning documentary series P.O.V., Starz, The
outlets. The submission deadline is April 14, Human Rights Campaign, ASCAP and The
2008. International Documentary Association.
Academic partners are: The Association of
Winners are selected by an illustrious VIP Jury, by American Colleges and Universities, The National
the public, and by participating cause Association of Student Councils, The American
organizations. FYI 2008‘s VIP Jury is headed by Association of College Professors and The
legendary news anchors and authors Walter University Film and Video Association.
Cronkite and Tom Brokaw, and includes NAACP
Vice Chair Roslyn M. Brock, MySpace Founder February 12, 2008
Tom Anderson, MTV President Christina NAACP Celebrates 99 Years of Service in the
Norman, CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer, NBC Anchor Fight for Justice and Equality for All
Brian Williams, Best Buy Vice-Chairman Brad
Anderson, HBO Host Bill Maher, USA TODAY The NAACP was founded 99 years ago today
Publisher Craig Moon, USA TODAY Founder Al from an initial group of about 60 diverse
Neuharth, Weinstein Company Co-founder progressive thinkers and multi-racial activists.
Formed in response to the Springfield, Ill. race riot ―The fact that a federal judge will be called to
of 1908, the horrific practice of lynching and other review every case individually and take into
harsh treatment of African Americans, the account if there were other factors involved in the
NAACP has since continued to be a driving force conviction, whether it be the use of a gun,
for racial tolerance, social change, justice and violence, death or the defendant‘s criminal history
equality in America. before determining if the retroactivity can apply,
appears to have eluded the Attorney General,‖
Down through the years the role of the NAACP Shelton added. ―Furthermore, because more than
has remained constant under its mission to ensure 82 percent of those currently in prison for federal
the political, educational, social, and economic crack cocaine convictions are African Americans
equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate and 96 percent are racial or ethnic minorities, the
racial hatred and racial discrimination. NAACP is deeply concerned at the Attorney
General‘s callous characterization that many of the
Over time, NAACP leaders and members have people in question are ‗violent gang members‘.‖
been threatened and killed for their beliefs and
actions. Yet the nation‘s oldest and largest civil The NAACP has steadfastly opposed the
rights organization perseveres. Its historic lawsuits mandatory minimum for crack cocaine possession
and peaceful demonstrations to force change in and the disparity in sentences for crack and
America are world renown. powder cocaine convictions. The result of a 1986
federal law has been a huge, 100 to 1 disparity
As disparities in education, health care, criminal between the penalty for possession of crack
justice, housing and discrimination in all its forms cocaine and powder cocaine.
persists, the NAACP will remain vigilant.
―The crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity
February 7, 2008 continues to place more African Americans and
NAACP Challenges Attorney General Latinos behind bars for much longer periods of
Mukasey's Misguided Position on Crack time,‖ continued Shelton, ―despite the fact that the
Cocaine Sentencing Reductions two drugs are pharmacologically
The NAACP was both saddened and offended by
Attorney General Michael Mukasey‘s call for Director Shelton has repeatedly testified before the
Congress to override the decision by the U.S. US Sentencing Commission and other bodies in
Sentencing Commission to apply their May 2007 support of eliminating the crack/powder disparity.
decision to reduce the recommended mandatory Last November he testified in support of
minimum sentencing range for conviction of retroactivity. Changes in sentencing have been
possession of crack cocaine retroactive to those applied retroactively in the cases of marijuana,
already in prison. LSD and oxycodone – all of which benefited
groups other than African Americans. To not
―Attorney General Mukasey‘s characterization of apply the sentencing changes for crack cocaine
people currently in prison for crack cocaine retroactively would perpetuate, and perhaps even
convictions, and of the impact that a potential intensify, the sense of injustice felt by African
reduction in their sentences could have on our American and other communities of color.
communities, is not only inaccurate and
disingenuous, but it is alarmist and plays on the February 6, 2008
worst fears and stereotypes many Americans had NAACP, Home Buiders' Lawsuit Against City
of crack cocaine users in the 1980s,‖ said NAACP of Kyle Heads to Trial
Washington Bureau Director Hilary O. Shelton. Lawsuit Alleges Violation of the Fair Housing Act
A lawsuit alleging violation of the federal Fair ―We‘re not asking the City of Kyle to give anyone
Housing Act by the City of Kyle heads to trial in a cash settlement, and we‘re not asking them to
federal district court in Austin, Texas on Monday, alter their regulations in a way that sacrifices the
February 11. The NAACP, the Texas State safety or quality of the homes built there,‖ said
Conference of NAACP Branches, the Austin NAHB executive vice president and chief
Branch of the NAACP, the Home Builders executive officer Jerry Howard. ―But we do want
Association (HBA) of Greater Austin and the the city to recognize that its building ordinances
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are making it increasingly difficult for minority
filed the suit in 2005 contesting the city‘s new households to buy a first home. All we‘re asking
development regulations and building codes that for are modest changes to the regulations to make
were enacted in 2003. it easier to build quality housing at a reasonable
An analysis shows the new requirements push the
cost of housing beyond the means of many low- The revised zoning and subdivision ordinances
income families. This effect on home prices has a adopted by the City of Kyle created many more
disproportionate impact on minority families costly requirements and increased the minimum
because they have on average lower incomes, living area of a home by 20 percent and its lot size
according to census data for the region. The Fair by almost 14 percent. These rules are significantly
Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal to put up more restrictive than previous requirements and
roadblocks to racial and ethnic minorities when have the unquestionable effect of pushing up the
passing housing ordinances. cost of housing – larger houses on larger lots mean
more expensive homes.
―Homeownership is critical to family stability and
it is an important aspect of wealth building and The revised regulations also require that all
financial security, especially for families of color,‖ buildings, structures, garages and accessory
said Dennis C. Hayes, interim president and CEO buildings have all four sides composed of brick,
of the NAACP. ―We take issue with the zoning stone or other approved masonry product, and
codes that the City of Kyle has instituted that more stringent building set-back requirements.
make it more difficult for minority families to buy Also required is a minimum garage size of 480
a home.‖ square feet (a two-and-a-half car garage). These
mandates are more costly than standards found in
When implemented, the new development many nearby cities and not something that all
regulations will reduce the affordable housing families may need or want.
options for all lower income families that might be
looking for a home in Kyle. Statistics show that The Fair Housing Act prohibits municipalities
the regulations have a significant disproportionate from using their zoning and land planning powers
impact on minority families. in a way that excludes housing for certain classes
of people protected by the Act. Courts have ruled
For example, a family must have an income of that local jurisdictions have violated the Fair
$42,858 to qualify for financing to buy a $133,000 Housing Act even when government officials did
home, the approximate projected price of a new not intentionally discriminate.
entry-level home built to comply with the city‘s
new standards. According to the most recent US ―Minority families do not enjoy the same
Census data, while the median income of white economic and housing opportunities as white
families in the Austin-San Marcos metro area families in this country,‖ Hayes said. ―We‘re not
exceeds that amount, the median income of going to sit by idly and watch the City of Kyle
Hispanic and black families falls well short.
pass laws that have the effect of driving housing syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and
costs beyond the reach of families of color.‖ sponsored by the NAACP National Voter Fund.
February 6, 2008 So far today, the hotline has received in excess of
Ruby Dee to Receive Chairman's Award at the 5,000 calls. Roughly 1,000 of those callers cited
39TH NAACP Image Awards voter infractions concentrated in the 13th
congressional district in Georgia that includes
Civil rights activist, actor, author, and parts of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton
humanitarian Ruby Dee will receive the NAACP and Henry counties. The majority of callers
Chairman‘s Award and is also nominated for expressed long lines and delays in voting due to
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion insufficient voting machines and problems
Picture. The Chairman‘s Award was presented to associated with the enforcement of Georgia‘s new
her during the February 14 live broadcast of the controversial voter ID law. Similar problems were
39th NAACP Image Awards on FOX (8p.m. also found in parts of Georgia‘s 4th, 5th and 11th
ET/PT). congressional districts.
The Chairman‘s Award, is personally chosen by ―The problems faced in Georgia by thousands of
NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond, and is voters were tied directly to the larger than
bestowed in recognition of special achievement expected influx of voters during the primary, and
and distinguished public service. the failure of many county election officials to
plan for the large influx of new voters.‖ according
―Ruby Dee is a true American icon who to Greg Moore, Executive Director of the NAACP
has inspired generations of young actors and National Voter Fund.
filmmakers.‖ said Bond. ―She is an
accomplished actor, writer, and a tireless political ―This is looking more and more like a carbon copy
activist. It's a rare privilege when you get to honor of what went wrong in Ohio in 2004.‖ said Moore.
someone who has led by example.‖ ―Georgia lacks any statewide standard for machine
to voter ratio that can help mitigate long lines and
―The Chairman‘s Award is one of three special unnecessary delays. Add to it the problems with
NAACP Image Awards that will be presented this the initial enforcement of the controversial
year,‖ stated NAACP Image Awards‘ Chairman mandatory voter ID law and you have a
Clayola Brown. ―The other previously announced prescription for disaster.‖
honors include the Hall of Fame Award to be
presented to Stevie Wonder and the Vanguard The Tom Joyner Morning Show urged voters
Award being given to Aretha Franklin. I think our throughout the day to stay in line and to report any
honorees this year are inspiring. It should make problems they are encountering to the MYVOTE1
for a very exciting and culturally informative hotline number throughout the day.
February 1, 2008
February 6, 2008 RULING IN ISAIAH SIMMONS DEATH
Irregularities Reported Early In Georgia POINTS OUT NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE
Primary Voting REFORM IN CRIMINAL LAWS
Widespread voting problems were discovered at NAACP leaders are distressed by this week‘s
polls in Georgia according to calls into 1-866- dismissal verdict rendered by Circuit Court Judge
MYVOTE1, an election protection and voter Michael M. Galloway in the death of Isaiah
information hotline promoted by the nationally Simmons, III at the hands of adults who sought to
discipline him at an alternative juvenile justice Counsel Angela Ciccolo. ―No one‘s child should
facility in Carroll County, Md. The civil rights be treated this way.‖
organization is urging the U.S. Department of
Justice and other federal officials to conduct a The increase in reports of violence and overly
thorough investigation and intervention. aggressive prosecution against African American
youth by law enforcement officials symbolized by
Simmons, 17, lost consciousness and died Jan. 23, the Simmons case, the boot camp beating death of
2007 after struggling with five adult staff of the Martin Lee Anderson, the assault of Shelwanda
Bowling Brook Prepatory School, a privately run Riley by a police officer and countless other recent
residential program under contract with the dehumanizing attacks led the NAACP to declare a
Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. ‗State of Emergency‘ last October that requires
Witnesses said the staffers sat on Simmons‘ limbs, immediate action by local
chest and head. He was subsequently restrained and state authorities as well as the U.S.
for three hours. Staffers did not call emergency Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress.
medical services for more than 40 minutes once
Simmons was determined unresponsive. The state ―The Isaiah Simmons case is a tragic one,‖ said
medical examiner's ruled his death a homicide. Maryland NAACP State Conference President
Gerald Stansbury. ―This young man was at an
―Children are the most precious gifts we receive, institution to be rehabilitated. He was a father, a
and for that reason, they deserve special son, a brother and he did not deserve to die. Gross
protection,‖ said NAACP Interim President & negligence on the part of Bowling Brook staff was
CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes. ―By not protecting clearly the case. The NAACP will not remain
them, even mistakenly, we send the terrible silent.
message that they are marked for destruction.
Tragic incidents of this nature cannot continue to ―Speaking out will not bring Isaiah back, or take
happen and are unacceptable.‖ away the pain or void that the family feels,‖
Stansbury added, ―but it may save the life of
After a grand jury decided against indicting the another youth. Speaking out may stimulate the
staffers for manslaughter and other offenses, they creation of new laws to make staffers in these
were subsequently charged with reckless custodial positions rethink the performance of
endangerment, a misdemeanor. On Tuesday Judge their duties. The demand of the day is for
Galloway dropped all charges against Jason W. JUSTICE --and we all need to put out that call.‖
Robinson, Brian G. Kanavy, Shadi Sabbagh, Mark
R. Sainato and Dennis Harding, writing in his National reports and statistical data clearly
decision that ―the indictment fails to properly illustrate the criminal justice system‘s disparate
allege a crime upon which the defendants maybe treatment of African American and other racial
convicted‖ and that the indictment was and ethnic minority young people.
―constitutionally flawed.‖ .
A report from the Justice Department‘s Bureau of
Judge Galloway further wrote, that the state‘s Justice Statistics released last October also
reckless endangerment law has been "deliberately amplifies the NAACP and others‘ concern. Forty-
construed to punish affirmative actions rather than seven states and the District of Columbia reported
passive inactions." 2,002 arrest-related deaths from 2003 through
2005. Homicides by state and local law
―The staffers had a moral and legal duty to ensure enforcement officers were the leading cause of
the safety and well-being of all children at such deaths during that time. Most persons who
Bowling Brook,‖ said NAACP Interim General died while being arrested were men (96 percent)
between the ages of 18 and 44 (77 percent). Titled ―Racial Discrimination, Repression and
Approximately 44 percent were white; 32 percent, Retaliation at New Era Cap,‖ the report documents
African American; 20 percent Hispanic and 4 conditions that include a lack of promotion of
percent of other or multiple races. experienced black workers; poverty-level wages
with significant differences in pay between black
According to the seminal report on racial and white workers; and a fierce, retaliatory anti-
disparities in the juvenile system, entitled "And union campaign, in the course of which more than
Justice For Some," commissioned by the Building 20 workers were terminated. Despite these tactics
Blocks for Youth initiative, prepared by the employed by the company, New Era‘s 111 Mobile
National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the workers voted last July to join the Teamsters.
NAACP and other organizations using U.S.
Department of Justice and FBI data, although ―What the hardworking men and women at the
minority youth are one-third of the adolescent Mobile New Era facility want is not unreasonable.
population in the U.S., minority youth comprise They simply want the fair treatment and
two -thirds of the more than 100,000 young people opportunities that all Americans should have, and
confined in local detention and state correctional that New Era has accorded its Northern workers in
systems. Buffalo. They want an end to management‘s
racially discriminatory promotion practices,
Nationally, custody rates were five times greater respect and a living wage in return for a hard day‘s
for African American youth than for white youth. work.‖ said Julian Bond, Chairman of the Board
Custody rates for Latino and Native American of the NAACP.
youth were two times the custody rate of white
youth. Among all offense categories, white youth ―I am confident that Major League Baseball will
were more likely than minority youth to be placed join us in demanding that New Era end the
on probation. disgraceful and discriminatory situation at its
Mobile, Alabama facility,‖ Bond said.
The NAACP has called for hearings not only in
Congress but also in every community around the ―New Era‘s management tactics in Mobile date
nation in order to clearly understand the scope of back to the bad old days of the Old South, or the
this problem and most importantly craft viable factory systems of the turn of the century,‖ Hoffa
solutions. said. ―They have no place in today‘s America.
And they have no place in the company that
January 28, 2008 makes the official team caps for the All-American
NAACP, Teamsters Call on Major League pastime.‖
Baseball to Help End Racial Discrimination at
New Era Cap In addition to manufacturing Major League
Baseball‘s official caps, New Era is the supplier
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, NAACP Chairman for a number of NBA, NHL, and collegiate teams.
Julian Bond and Teamsters General President Jim The company also makes popular caps for Hip
Hoffa asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to Hop fans.
intervene with the MLB‘s exclusive on-field cap
manufacturer, New Era Cap, in an effort to end Hoffa‘s and Bond‘s outreach to Major League
racial discrimination and worker rights violations Baseball comes against the backdrop of a rising
in New Era‘s distribution center in Mobile, groundswell of protest against New Era‘s worker
Alabama. The NAACP also released its report of and human rights abuses by student groups, civil
the investigation it recently undertook at the rights organizations, labor, and religious groups.
request of workers at the facility. These groups are going to consumers—and to the
dozens of universities that have suppliers‘ to reducing recidivism, international justice issues
agreements with New Era—to demand change in and others.
the company‘s treatment of its Southern workers.
Specifically, 42 percent of Senators received a
―We‘re proud to join with the NAACP, which has failing grade and 45 percent of House members
fought for equality and justice in America for received an ―F.‖ This is an improvement over the
close to 100 years, to demand better lives and last Congress, in which 54 percent of Senators
better opportunities for New Era workers. We call failed and 52 percent of House members got an
on Major League Baseball to do the same,‖ said ―F,‖ according to the latest report card.
Hoffa. ―We are putting New Era on notice that this
effort to abolish inequality and injustice will not ―Nearly half of the House and Senate fail on the
cease until New Era ends the discriminatory and NAACP‘s ‗bread and butter‘ civil rights issues in
humiliating conditions at its Mobile plant.‖ the first session of the 110th Congress,‖ said
NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary O.
January 18, 2008 Shelton. ―The fact that the federal government
NAACP RELEASES MID-TERM touches almost every aspect of our lives, from
CONGRESSIONAL REPORT CARD health and education to criminal justice and
110th Congress shows slight progress on civil economic stability, means that they have the
rights matters power to make improvements in the lives of
almost every American, if they are wiling to work
In its first session Legislative Report Card on the hard and do the right thing. The fact that this is a
110th Congress, the NAACP found some mid-term assessment of the 110th Congress,
improvement in the voting record of members of should serve as encouragement to Congressional
the U.S. Congress in addressing fundamental civil leaders and the President to focus on enacting
rights agenda items in 2007. NAACP legislative priorities.‖
―The NAACP legislative report card is intended to As each Congress lasts two years, the NAACP
reflect how responsive elected federal officials are Legislative Report Card is issued at the end of the
to the genuine civil rights needs of all Americans,‖ first year offering a mid-term assessment; and at
said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis the close of the second year where a final grade is
Courtland Hayes. ―Although much has changed in presented. Complete report cards, including scores
the last 50 years, there is still much to be done. of individual members of Congress, can be found
Racism, segregation, bias and disparities continue on the NAACP website at www.naacp.org under
to plague our nation. We need to understand how, the Washington Bureau header.
and if, our elected federal officials are dealing
with these problems.‖ Since 1914 the NAACP Legislative Report Card
has presented a summation of key civil rights
The current report card shows how all 100 voting votes taken in the U.S. Senate and House of
members of the U.S. Senate voted on 15 recorded Representatives. It is designed to provide NAACP
votes (out of a total of 442 recorded votes in 2007) members with insight into the voting patterns of
and how all 435 voting members of the U.S. their congressional representatives and is intended
House of Representatives voted on 25 recorded to be used as a non-partisan educational tool.
votes (out of a total of 1,177 cast in 2007). Issues Information contained within the report card is
ranged from education to labor and economic intended to be useful in efforts to educate NAACP
development to health care and predatory members and other Americans who care about
mortgage lending and criminal justice including civil rights about the votes of our elected
hate crimes, increased funding for police officers representatives on legislation of critical
importance to the African American community
and other friends of civil rights.
Adult Regular Membership
$30 (includes CRISIS magazine)
Adult Life Membership
$750 (includes CRISIS magazine. It can be paid
in 10 annual installments of $75.)
Alachua County Branch of the NAACP
P.O. Box 593, Gainesville, Florida 32602
Fourth Thursdays of Every Month at 6:00 PM at
the Wilhelmina Johnson Center
(321 NW 10th Street).
Next Executive Committee Meeting:
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
(All are Invited!)
Next General Meeting:
Thursday, March 27, 2008
(All are Invited!)