NAACP Requests Full-Scale Review of Flint Water Crisis by U.S. Department of Justice

The NAACP will hold a press conference with President and CEO Cornell William Brooks to rollout our 20-point plan and timelines to address the issues in Flint.  The press conference will be held on Monday, February 15 at 1:00 PM, Christ Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 317 East Hamilton Avenue, Flint 48505. Please see the full press release below to learn more about the request to the U.S. Department of Justice.

IMG_4409BALTIMORE, MD – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has formally requested that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launch civil and criminal investigations into the disastrous water crisis in Flint, Michigan.  In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks requested that all applicable components of the DOJ investigate potential environmental and civil rights violations to prevent future harms to Flint residents, to ensure that all possible measures are taken to remedy past harms to Flint residents, and to hold accountable those responsible for the crisis.

“The poisoning of Flint’s water—and the delayed response to that poisoning—is a classic example of the disproportionate burden of environmental harm being borne by low-income persons and communities of color,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO.  “A focused, swift, and detailed investigation by the Department of Justice will be a significant step in rectifying this situation and determining whom to hold responsible for inflicting a lifetime of harm upon a vulnerable community.”

The crisis began after Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager decided to switch the city’s water source from Lake Huron via Detroit’s Water System to the Flint River, causing the pipes to corrode and leach lead into the water.  The NAACP’s Flint Branch and Michigan State Conference have diligently worked over the last two years to inform the public about the poisoned water and its potential effects.

The NAACP has engaged the law firm of WilmerHale LLP to assist its Legal Department in working with the DOJ to protect the rights of the people of Flint.  The team at WilmerHale is led by Ronald C. Machen Jr., a former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Debo Adegbile, former President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue

Flint Community 15-Point Priorities

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NAACP National President Cornell William Brooks presented a 15-Point Priorities list of community concerns during a Public Mass Meeting held at the University of Michigan — Flint on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.  To read the full list of priorities please click the link  Flint 15 Point Community Concerns Priorities.

NAACP Public Mass Meeting to Address Flint Water Crisis

FullSizeRenderNAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks will join leaders from the Michigan State Conference and the Flint and Detroit, Michigan branches of the NAACP at a public mass meeting to call for a resolution to the Flint water crisis. NAACP Flint Branch Leadership will share the NAACP’s 15-point priority plan for addressing the Flint water crisis, a comprehensive plan developed with the input of members of the Flint community in cooperation with the Flint branch of the NAACP.

President Brooks, along with local NAACP leaders, is inviting members of the community to attend the meeting and provide feedback and comment on the priorities. Following the community commentary/testimonies, a panel moderated by NAACP Detroit Branch President, Reverend Wendell Anthony, and consisting of experts from the health, legal, and educational fields, will answer questions and provide guidance.

Detroit Teachers Deserve Our Support

20160122_113043Please see the official press statement given at a press conference held on Friday, January 22, 2016, in support of Detroit Public School teachers.  Several members of Detroit’s faith based community along with national, state and local elected officials stood together to call for the Governor, State Legislature and Emergency Manager Darnell Earley to not take punitive actions against Detroit Public School teachers but to take the necessary steps to provide Detroit’s school children with a quality education.

Click the link Detroit Teachers Deserve Our Support to read the press statement in its entirety.

White Privilege: An American Reality

Please see an excerpt from an article written by Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.  Click the link below to read the article in its entirety.

“Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man; willnot conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.”   Alexander Hamilton

The term privilege is defined as a special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. The takeover of a government building in Burns, Oregon on January 2, 2016, led by Ammon Dunn is another stark indication of white privilege personified. The failure of our justice system to view all Americans through the same lens of justice, continues to rip at the very core of our nation’s spirit. I felt compelled to write this article based on the countless private conversations I have had within our community on this very critical issue. It generally begins like this: Wendell, can you imagine if these were black people in Oregon, how quickly the law would have come down on them? Can you imagine if there were a group of brothers or Muslims or Mexicans even threatening to take over a federal building, how the government and its agencies would respond? Can you imagine if there were a group of armed black folks talking about they were going to go downtown and takeover the Federal building, how quickly the Man, would have come in and attempted to bust the whole situation wide open? These are the questions which I am certain that many of those who read this article have had and are having with others.

Click the link White Privilege An American Reality to read the
full article.

 

America Must Not Surrender to Fear

Please see the following remarks given by Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony during the One Nation, One Voice press conference held on December 21, 2015.  To read the press statement in its entirety click the link below.

In 1895, Katharine Lee Bates wrote:

“America, America, God shed His grace on thee, and crown

thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

 We have been blessed as a nation by the strength and brilliance of a diversity of people. Some arrived here by force, others have migrated here by choice. Nonetheless today, we are all in this great ship called the United States of America, together.

America Must Not Surrender to Fear

Official Press Statement — One Nation Indivisible With Liberty and Justice For All

Please see the official press statement from the Detroit Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, regarding the removal of the Confederate flag from
Columbia, South Carolina.

Official Statement_Removal of Confederate Flag

 

 

Detroit Branch NAACP Stands Opposed to Four Day Curfew Extension

Detroit Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, issued the following statement during the Detroit City Council public hearing regarding the proposed four day curfew extension for the River Days Festival and Annual Fireworks. Please click the link below to read the statement.

Official Statement Proposed Four Day Curfew

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren Releases Report and Recommendations to Improve Detroit Schools

The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren released its report and recommendations for improving all Detroit schools on Monday, March 30, during a press event held at Fellowship Chapel.  Detroit Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, serves as one of the co-chairs for the coalition. The coalition met for approximately 100 days to create a comprehensive plan that will imake quality schools for all Detroit children.

To read the full report click on the link below.

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Condolences to the Families of the Slain New York City Police Officers

The Coalition for Justice and Fairness to Reform Law Enforcement issued the following press statement regarding the two slain New York City Police Officers.

DETROIT — The recent shooting deaths of two New York City police officers, Wenjain Liu and Rafael Ramos, leave us both with a sense of deep sorrow and sincere condolences to their families and friends. The killings of these police officers reportedly by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, in no way reflects the thinking or the purpose of any of us who are concerned about the ongoing relations between law enforcement and the communities in which they serve. We neither condone, support, excuse, nor encourage such actions. We do not believe that all police officers are bad nor do we subscribe to all protesters being good. While we condemn the actions of any who take the lives of innocent people, it is precisely why we must come together as people of goodwill to try and develop programs and strategies that bring us together as a community…

Click the link to read the entire statement — Coalition Press Statement 12_22_14