Detroit Branch NAACP Host Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis and Detroit’s State Legislators

The Detroit Branch NAACP hosted its bi-monthly Allies, Issues, and Action meeting. The topic, “What’s Next for Detroit?” Our first guest speaker was City of Detroit’s Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis. The room was full to capacity, and the conversation was intense, informative, and electrifying. Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis this morning discussed the consent decree between the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. The Deputy mayor stated, “it was extremely difficult to sign,” but he also said that “it must work so city residents can shape their own future.” Deputy Mayor Lewis spoke for an hour and was particularly thorough in his presentation. Lewis talked about the consent agreement and how it will require the city to control spending and pay down its accumulated deficit.

We were also honored by the presence of three state legislators who also spoke about the consent agreement. The State Legislators also gave their own legislative updates. State Representatives Thomas Stallworth, Fred Durhal, and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi gave their accounts of the leadership in Lansing, the consent agreement and discussed many other pressing issues our Detroit delegation is facing on a daily basis in Lansing.

Lastly, President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony commented on what’s next for Detroit and the consent agreement. President Anthony said “the consent agreement gives longtime citizens grave concern because the agreement is “perpetuity” and will be hard to get out of.” President Anthony went on to say “This consent agreement, even though it’s signed and packaged, doesn’t have a sunset.” “The fact that the governor and the state did not put any money on the table, that’s a major problem.” [and] “Some feel like the soul of Detroit has been ripped out, I’ve never in my life felt like I feel now about my city. It’s like I don’t even know it anymore. And that’s not a good feeling.”

The room was full to capacity, and the conversation was intense, informative, and electrifying.

Please join us for the next Detroit Branch NAACP Allies, Issues, and Action Meeting, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 10:00am.

Detroit Branch NAACP Legal Redress Committee Hosts April Ask the Lawyer Sessions

The Detroit Branch NAACP Legal Redress Committee held its monthly “Ask the Lawyer” session. Open to the public, the “Ask the Lawyer” program provides an opportunity (free 15-minute consultation) for individuals to come in and discuss legal issues with legal professionals who can direct them to the proper legal resources. The different topics vary from criminal justice and discrimination claims to questions regarding estate planning and family law.

The Detroit Branch NAACP Legal Redress Committee hosts the “Ask the Lawyer” program every first Wednesday of the month between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. at the branch offices located at 8220 Second Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48202.

Meeting of the Minds: Detroit Youth Council April 4, 2012 Meeting

The Detroit NAACP Youth Council held their bi-weekly membership meeting. During the meeting, members who participated in the Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute (CRATI) reported on the workshops they attended while in Kentucky. Those workshops included: Economic Empowerment, Fundraising, Education, Health and Leadership. After the CRATI report, Assistant Secretary, Rajni-Anne Jackson provided the members with a Political Education report that outlined the voter registration goals of the Detroit Branch NAACP. In our next meeting, members will decide how many voters they will register in addition to discussing ways to increase voter turnout among high school students that are 18 years of age.

In addition to debriefing CRATI and discussing voter registration, we also discussed the following:

  • Student walk out at Fredrick Douglas Academy- On March 30, 2012 close to 50 seniors at Fredrick Douglas Academy walked out of class in protest of their education, lack of books and school supplies, and the shortage of teachers who can teach senior curriculum.
  • Trayvon Martin and next steps- Youth Council passed a motion to have members of the juvenile justice committee write a proposal in support of changing the Stand Your Ground law in Florida.
  • CRATI 2013- Detroit will host the next Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute and members of the Youth Council have agreed to be a part of the planning committee.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the upcoming elections for 2012-2013 officers. Elections will be held on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8220 Second Ave. Detroit, MI 48202. Members who are current on their memberships 30-days before the election date are eligible to run for office. Those members who are not eligible 30-day prior to the election are unable to run for an office but they are still eligible to vote.

Next Youth Council meeting will be held on April 18, 2012 at the Detroit Branch NAACP office (8220 Second Ave. Detroit, MI) at 6:00 P.M. So, come join us and bring a friend!

Submitted by: Naudia Harrison, 11th grader at West Bloomfield High School and Detroit NAACP Youth Council Member

Detroit Branch NAACP ACT-SO Contest Gold Medal Winners Prepare

Gold Medal Winners came to the Detroit Branch NAACP office to complete their paperwork as they begin to prepare for the National NAACP ACT-SO Competition.

The Detroit Branch NAACP will be sending a delegation of seven Gold Medal Winners to the National NAACP ACT-SO Competition that will be held July 5-8, 2012 in Houston, Texas. ACT-SO stands for Afro Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. High school students compete in local ACT-SO Competitions sponsored by the local NAACP branches and youth councils. The Detroit Branch NAACP held its competition on Saturday, March 24, 2012.

Don’t worry if you missed the first competition, there will be a second competition sponsored by the Detroit NAACP Youth Council on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Applications are due by Monday, April 16, 2012. for more information call 313-664-2406.

22nd Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Art & Essay Contest

First place winners from the 22nd Annual Art & Essay and Contest were photographed in preparation for their award-winning art work and essays to be featured in the Souvenir Journal Book for the 57th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner and place on exhibit during the event. All the winners will be recognized at a ceremony in May at the Charles H. Wright Museum where their artwork and essays will be on display. All contestants who submitted entries answered the question “What the Civil Rights Struggle Means to Me?” in either an art or essay form. Students are competing for prizes, art work and/or essay to be displayed and tickets to the annual fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.

The Art & Essay Committee is chaired by Mrs. Mary Blackmon and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company in partnership with Detroit Public Schools.

Detroit Branch NAACP Young Adult Committee is Back in Action!

The Detroit Branch NAACP Young Adult Committee met April 5, 2012 to stress the importance of young adult engagement in the Detroit Branch NAACP. This committee provides a great platform for young people to develop leadership skills and understand a more indepth level of the importance of the NAACP. Since its inception, YAC has been a very high energy committee filled with young people who are committed to making a change.

In this meeting members of the Committee discussed GOTV efforts in conjunction with the Political Education Committee, and the vision of where we would like to see ourselves in the near future. Further discussion developed on the Consent Agreement signed by the City Council and how it will affect the citizens of Detroit.

The Young Adult Committee is open to anyone that would like to participate. Primarily, our target range is for the 18 – 35 age group, however we welcome anyone that wants to participate.

The Young Adult Committee meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at the Detroit Branch NAACP office (8220 Second Ave. Detroit, MI) at 6:00PM.

Detroit Branch NAACP Political Education Committee Begins 2012 GOTV Planning

Tuesday, April 3, 2012- Political Education Committee Chair Marja Winters (left) and Executive Director Donnell R. White seated with members of the Political Education Committee begin strategizing for the upcoming 2012 GOTV Campaign.

The Detroit Branch NAACP Political Education Committee hosted a small but dedicated and passionate group of volunteers in a discussion about our Take Your Soles to the Polls 2012 GOTV campaign. This is an important election year and we will be diligent in ensuring that people are not only registered to vote, but also well educated on the issues and the process. Additionally, we will mobilize the vote to increase turnout and protect the right to vote so access to the ballot box remains unhindered.

The Political Education committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm. Please consider joining us!

Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute This is my vote: Connecting the Dots

Saturday, March 31, 2012- The Detroit NAACP Youth Council and Advisor Indira Pierce stand with Tobias Q. Brown keynote speaker at the Youth Luncheon during the NAACP Midwest Civil Rights and Training Institute

Could the death of Trayvon Martin and many other young African-Americans been prevented with a check mark on an election ballot?

While participating in the 2012 NAACP Midwest Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute, members of the Detroit NAACP Youth Council began connecting the dots of how redistricting and economic, educational and judicial inequities within our communities can be impacted by the power of voting.

With social networking sites like twitter and facebook connecting millions of people it is important the NAACP uses these vehicles to spread our message. Above members of the Detroit NAACP Youth Council learned how to use these social networking sites to address issues that plague our communities and promoting voter registration.

After the morning workshops, Youth Council members heard from Tobias Q. Brown during the Youth and College Advocacy Luncheon.  Mr. Brown provided principles for students that could be put into action today! As Mr. Brown stated, “your passion is contagious!”  This discussion was encouraging, enlightening, inspirational and very informative.

For more information about the Detroit NAACP Youth Council please join us every first and third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.  We meet at the Detroit Branch NAACP located at 8220 Second Ave. Detroit, MI.  Call 313-871-2087 for more information.