Last year was a powerful year for the local branch. We traveled to Washington, D.C. twice. We attended the inauguration of President Obama and participated in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. As we continued to "Keep it Movin!" we must focus on the future and include our youth.
I believe everyone in America deserve healthcare. And no matter what you call it "Obamacare," the Affordable Care Act is here now and we have to make sure we get enrolled by March 31st.
In Dec, 2013 humanity lost a great leader President Mandela. He inspired the world to continue to fight for freedom and justice. His life gave me an opportunity to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and President Obama. President Obama stands on the shoulders of giants! In 2014 income inequality and lack of economic opportunity are our nation's fastest growing threats, as President Obama made clear in his State of the Union address.
Countless individuals are living in a cycle of poverty they can't escape underemployment, unemployment among blacks is 13.5%.
If you care about fighting the racial disparities that are still too prevalent in America, the NAACP is the place where you can make a difference. As State Political Action Chair, we registered more than 16,000 people for the 2012 general election-more than 192% of the state's goal. There are 268 days left until Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014 - "The Time is now - Keep it Movin!"
This year, the NAACP registered hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote and equip vulnerable communities with the resources to fight back against attacks on fundamental voting rights through our nationwide campaign, This is My Vote. Visit the This Is My Vote website for more information or to register to vote online: www.thisismyvote.org . Or call 1-866-MyVote1 to register by phone.
I recently read a report that stated one hundred forty-nine years after slavery has ended, sixty years after the Brown versus Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court ruling and twelve years after the No Child Left Behind legislation, only 10 percent of 8th-grade Black boys in public schools across America read at or above a proficient grade level according to the 2011 U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The failure of Black boys in American schools is an unaddressed, undeclared and uncared about national disaster in the United States!
The importance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration was not only to honor the legendary civil rights leader, but to keep his dream alive for future generations. I'm urging people to get up, get into it and get involved in our community to fight for positive social change.
The NAACP is not only about Black people but All people. Diversity is very important to all of us as we move forward! I would like to invite local residents to get involved with the NAACP and to attend city council meetings and school board meetings to have your voices heard. Everyone can serve and the time for serving is right now. We have to begin to make Springfield's future.
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