Detroit Branch NAACP Advocates for Equal Opportunity as the City of Detroit receives $300 Million in Grants from the Obama Administration

Friday, September 27, 2013 at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Wayne State’s Campus, the Detroit Branch NAACP along with other community organizations, present and past leadership of the City of Detroit and of the State of Michigan joined with the Obama Administration to discuss the $300 Million in grants that is coming to aid in the City’s current condition. Representatives from the Obama Administration were U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, White House National Economic Council director Gene Sperling, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The funds that are coming to the City will be used for blight and revitalization of neighborhoods, repair and rehabilitation of buses with up to date security software, the regional transit network, M-1 rail project, and hiring of public safety officials to keep the city safe. It is believed, that the unlocking of the federal dollars will lead to some immediate changes in the residential and commercial areas of the City.

As always, the presence of the Detroit Branch NAACP was to ensure that minorities are represented at every level of decision making and that decisions being made are benefiting all Citizens of Detroit. As the City moves forward, it is our priority that minorities have access to the jobs that will become available due to the new constructions and demolitions, and that contracts will be shared equally among minority firms. This should be an opportunity for all Citizens of Detroit to participate in its revitalization, and see it restored to its beauty and full functionality.

Allies, Issues & Actions with Tom Barrow

Guest Speaker Tom Barrow expresses his concerns with the integrity of the 2013 Mayoral Election.

Tuesday, September 24th the Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was eye opening to say the least. Not only was it National Voter Registration Day, but it was also a big day for the Detroit mayoral recount. Our guest speaker was Tom Barrow, former candidate for Mayor. Barrow, completely immersed in the re-count effort of the 2013 Mayoral elections, opened his remarks by highlighting his extensive background as a fighter for Detroit. He indicated that he is not bitter from losing the election, and stressed the importance of fighting for Detroit! He quoted in the meeting, “There is a sophisticated effort designed to take the City from individuals like me and you!” While focusing on the 2013 elections recount, he also drew attention to similar instances of perceived illegalities in our election system in the previous 2009 elections. “I learned from my mistakes”, Barrow said, as he discussed the differences in his 2013 bid for mayor as opposed to his 2009 bid. “This time around we were prepared with Challengers at every precinct. We also had Challengers inside of COBO Hall, watching as the Department of Elections counted absentee ballots.”

Barrow explained that the handwriting on many ballots in the write-in section was the same handwriting on almost all ballots. Barrow also explained that in some precincts there were more counted ballots than people who signed the poll book. “This election was rigged!” Barrow said, “It’s not just the city but our Democracy that’s being stolen from us!”

Congressman John Conyers pledges his support to advocate for election protection on Capital Hill.

We were also joined by the Dean of Politics, Congressman John Conyers and Gina Avery, Deputy Director of Elections from the Department of Elections. Mrs. Avery made no comment on Tom Barrow’s accusations, but she did mention, “Our staff at the Department of Elections works extremely hard every day to bring you the best and most up-to-date service while upholding our integrity.” Mrs. Avery brought voter registration forms, absentee ballot request and some important tips about voting in the 2013 Election. Mrs. Avery also gave us a quick update on Detroit Voters by the numbers. There are currently 536,000 registered voters in Detroit, 36,000 absentee voters in Detroit, and an expected 8% to 11% turnout in November.

We invite you to join us for our next Allies, Issues and Action meeting Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:00 A.M with guest speaker, Cathy Garret – Wayne County Clerk.

Detroit Branch NAACP 1st Vice President Atty. John E. Johnson, Jr. Appointed as Executive Director of the MI Legislative Black Caucus

The Detroit Branch NAACP would like to congratulate 1st Vice President, Atty. John E. Johnson, Jr. on his new appointment as Executive Director of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. Atty. Johnson has a long standing history with the Detroit Branch NAACP and Michigan State Conference NAACP. Please see the press statement below regarding his appointment from Sen. Thomas Stallworth, Chair of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.

Press Statement – Atty. John E. Johnson Executive Director, MLBC


MI State Conference NAACP Hosts 77th Annual State Convention

September 20-22, 2013 the Michigan State Conference hosted its 77th Annual State Convention with the theme, “We Shall Not Be Moved.” The convention was hosted in Kalamazoo, MI by the Kalamazoo Branch NAACP. As members of the NAACP from all branches gathered, they discussed critical issues in the community and the state of Michigan.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Keynote speaker for the Freedom Awards Dinner, President of the North Carolina State Conference NAACP, and leader of the Moral Mondays Movement.

Events throughout the weekend included a public mass meeting with Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, the VP of Strategic Relations for the National NAACP, a Youth & College luncheon key noted by Brandon Jessup, Chairman of Michigan Forward Urban Affairs Group, and workshops for the Affordable Care Act, Voter Empowerment and Civic Engagement, and Environmental Justice and Protection. The weekend culminated with the Freedom Awards Dinner key noted by Rev. Dr. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina State Conference NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays’ movement.

Additionally, at the State Convention new leaders were elected to office. The officers for the MI State Conference NAACP are below:

MI State Conference President Yvonne White being sworn in with grandson Brian White, Jr.

Newly elected leadership of the MI State Conference NAACP

MI State Conference NAACP

  • President, Yvonne White (Detroit)
  • 1st Vice President, Jeanette Henegan (Lenawee County)
  • 2nd Vice President, General Holiefield (SW Detroit)
  • 3rd Vice President, Frances Gilcreast (Flint)
  • 4th Vice Presidnet, Robert Dunklin (Albion)
  • Treasurer, Katie Riley (Detroit)
  • Secretary, Juanita Taylor (Port Huron)

Newly Elected Leadership of the MI State Conference Youth & College Divison

MI State Conference NAACP Youth & College Division

  • President, Kayla Jones (Grand Valley State University)
  • 1st Vice President, Dorthea Thomas (Eastern MI University)
  • 2nd Vice President, Darnell Coleman (Grand Valley State University)
  • Secretary, Rebecca Williams (Grand Valley State University)
  • Treasurer, Myles Long (Detroit NAACP Youth Council)

The Detroit Branch NAACP would like to congratulate all of the newly installed officers, and the MI State Conference NAACP on a powerful State Convention.

2nd Vice President Myles Long, Advisor Kamilia Landrum, and President Gregory Harrison, represent the Detroit NAACP Youth Council at the 77th MI State Convention

Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director Donnell R. White to be recognized during BUF Connect!

The Black United Fund of Michigan (BUF) has a new initiative BUF Connect!, that is designed to attract young professionals between the ages of 20 and 45 years to introduce them to BUF of Michigan’s mission and goals for the specific purpose of reinvesting in the communities where they live, and support organizations that can make a difference. On Friday, September 20, 2013 from 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. at Avis Ford Automobile Dealership (29200 Telegraph Southfield, MI 48034), Mr. White and other young professionals will be highlighted. We encourage all young professionals in this demographic to support this event and the leadership of the nations premier Branch of the NAACP.

Detroit Branch NAACP Leadership to present at the CBC Annual Legislative Conference

Congressman John Conyers will host The Trayvon Martin Tradegy: The Intersection of Criminal Justice Reform and Racial Profiling on Friday, September 20, 2013 from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. during the Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference. This panel will feature experts from the judiciary, law enforcement, child welfare, and the advocacy community to provide an overview of the continuing challenges in juvenile justice, and drug and sentencing policy reform efforts.

The panel will be moderated by Tanya Clay House, Public Policy Director for the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and feature Mr. Donnell R. White, Executive Director of the Detroit Branch NAACP and Detroit Police Commissioner. Other panelists include Atty. Benjamin Crump who serves as Counsel to Trayvon Martin Family,Chief John Dixon, Professor Charles Olgetree, Laura Murphy, Patricia Rosier, Ron Scott, Imani Walker and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

From 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. the conversation will transition to The Return of Detroit: From Bankruptcy to Rebirth. This Braintrust will be a focused discussion on the development of policies to rebuild the city and protect the interests of its residents, drawing on lessons learned from other urban areas facing similar changes.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson a native Detroit-er and renowned author, educator and activist, and feature Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of the Detroit Branch NAACP. Other panelists include Krystal Crittendon, Al Garret, Harvey Hollins III, Sen. Bert Johnson, James Spiotto, Prof. John A.E. Pottow and Hon. Jo Ann Watson.

We encourage all Detroit Branch NAACP members and Detroit Citizens that will be in the area to support the above workshops that will put Detroit on a national platform for discussion, consideration, and activism. For more information about the CBC conference please visit

Allies, Issues, and Action – Guest Speaker: Mr. Bankole Thompson, Senior Editor, Michigan Chronicle

Bankole Thompson, Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle, speaks at the Detroit Branch NAACP Allies, Issues & Action meeting about the upcoming election and importance of voting.

The Allies, Issues, and Action meeting held on Tuesday, September 17th, was empowering, inspiring, and politically intriguing. As the Detroit Branch NAACP continues the important work of voter education, voter registration, and voter mobilization, it was vital to have a well-informed speaker who has had the responsibility of paying attention to not only the upcoming election, but also to the politics behind it!

Our guest Speaker was Bankole Thompson, Editor and Chief of the Michigan Chronicle. Mr. Thompson opened the conversation discussing the 2013 Mayoral Elections in Detroit. He spoke about both mayoral campaigns and the election process. Well versed on politics in Michigan, Mr. Thompson also spoke in detail about the upcoming 2014 elections. Mr. Thompson expressed his discomfort for both the Democratic and Republican parties. He spoke about the lack of inclusion on process of choosing candidates on the Democratic side. On the Republican side, Mr. Thompson expressed his discomfort with the lack of recruitment and inclusion of the African American community. Mr. Thompson’s speech was extremely informative and enlightening.

As we get ready for our next Allies, Issues, and Action meeting on Tuesday, September 24th at 10 am, we look forward to meeting new allies, having a great discussion and committing to the call to action! Join us next week as we continue the great work to educate, register, and mobilize voters for election!

Press Statement – The Doors of Economic Opportunity Must be Opened

The Detroit Branch NAACP released the following press statement regarding the recent economics developments in the City of Detroit. President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony stood with Mr. Ken Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and Executive Committee member of the Detroit Branch

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Press Statement – The Doors of Economic Opportunity Must be Opened

Innovative Approaches to HIV Prevention through the Black Church

The NAACP hosted Innovative Approaches to HIV Prevention through the Black Church: Re-framing HIV as a Social Justice Issue this past Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM at Fellowship Chapel. Members of Clergy representing churches across the State and members of the Nation of Islam joined  to find out how to address this tragic epidemic in our communities.

The training discussed the need for leadership to create missions and expand their work in the HIV/AIDS ministry. A call to action was made that representatives would take the information back to their institutions and build awareness around the issue. Not only was the information presented enlightening, but extremely informative.

For more information about the Detroit Branch NAACP and its health initiatives, please contact the Detroit Branch NAACP at 313-871-2087.