Thank you to all the members of the NAACP and the supporters of this great organization. I am humble to serve as the President of Springfield Branch of the NAACP. Today’s event is culmination of hard work and commitment to make this day possible.
Last year, proved why the NAACP is still relevant in the 21st Century. In nearby in nearby Ferguson, Missouri a police officer killed unarmed Michael Brown. In Cleveland, Ohio,
12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer. Eric Gardner, New York City
strangled to death by a police officer. Large protest around
the country echoed the thought that “Black Lives Matter.”
Because of these tragic events, the Springfield NAACP Branch took immediate action and conducted two Town Halls Summits to discuss these issues with Springfield elected officials and local leaders. The support and response by the community was tremendous! Over 400 members of the Springfield community
attended the first meeting on September 4, 2014.
Also in 2014, the NAACP organized the first Soul to the Polls to increase voter turnout as well as incorporated the Voter Activation Network (VAN), an online interface to identify registered and unregistered voters. We received a Proclamation from Governor Pat Quinn for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During 2014, we organized Lobby Day, a preview night for the premier of the
movie “Selma,” Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity March and several candidates’ forums.
Like in previous years, we will continue to sponsor our youth in participating in historic events such as, the Presidential Inauguration, 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and other educational events.
I am committed not to rest on our previous accomplishments. My goal for 2015 is to provide effective leadership and promote opportunities for young black males by hosting a 2015 youth summit. Persuade School District 186 to abide by the Consent Decree and hire more minority teachers. Lastly, meet with the Mayor and City Council to increase minority hiring in all areas of city government.
As the President, I have been actively involved in and outside of Springfield. I served as the Mistress of Ceremony for the Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the
Historical Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln’s body rested. I also served as the keynote speaker for the Mount Vernon, Illinois Branch of the NAACP Dr. MLK banquet. I also served as the Mistress of Ceremony for the Innocence Project. Serving as a presenter at the Illinois NAACP State Convention and speaking at the
NAACP National Convention are all but a few areas in which I am grateful to represent you.
The NAACP is diligently working to meet both present and future needs of Springfield. The work of balancing the scales of justice is far from over; therefore I ask for your encouragement, involvement and prayers as we seek to make positive changes in our community. Again, I thank you for your support.
We have to embrace our youth. Listen to their concerns and expose them to positive things. Remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for.
Teresa Haley, President