On September 15, 2015, President Cornell Brooks led marchers into DC after marching over 1,000 miles from Selma, Alabama to the nation’s capital. The march, entitled “America’s Journey for Justice” is a statement of direction action by thousands of marchers who are delivering a message to Washington electeds to restore the Voting Rights Act, address a failing criminal justice system and to deliver access and opportunity for that part of the nation impacted by the taint of race.
In July, Boston NAACP President Michael Curry traveled down to Georgia with three Pipeline to Leadership youth to join in the Journey for Justice…marching 31 miles over two days. Giro Garcia, Paris Clachar and Brianna Lindsey sought to share in the experience of those marchers in 1965 who challenged the barriers to voting on Bloody Sunday. “We marched for James Reeb, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Akia Gurley, Amadou Diallo, DJ Henry, and so many others who were unarmed and died at the hands of law enforcement,” said President Curry. ” “This is critical training for young people, who never sat at the back of the bus and therefore aren’t rushing to the front of the movement.” The marchers participated in teach-ins where they learned about the vestiges of racism in various parts of society. #justicesummer #bostonnaacp1911
This week, Commissioner William B. Evans announced the City of Boston’s intention to initiate a body-worn camera pilot program that will equip a segment of Boston’s police officers with this technology. This comes on the heels of the Boston NAACP and many other civil rights and social justice organizations appealing to Mayor Walsh, the Commissioner and city officials to adopt the use of “bodycams” in the wake of police-involved shootings of unarmed Black men all over the country. “There is a heightened level of transparency required for policing in 2015,” said Supreme Richardson, 3rd Vice President of the Boston NAACP. “The blinders have been removed, and now Americans realize that not all cops are protecting and serving, and too many are simply breaking the law.” Recently, the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO) expressed their support for bodycameras and other police departments in the Commonwealth are taking steps to adopt them.
The NAACP applauds the leadership of Commissioner Evans and Mayor Walsh, as we have been urging the City of Boston to lead on this issue. “Today’s announcement signals a step in the right direction toward transparent, reliable and accountable policing in Boston,” said Michael Curry, Boston NAACP President. “We urge the Administration to now move with speed to plan for the full implementation of body-worn cameras within its 2017 budget. The time is now!” The NAACP, locally and nationally, has called on the nation to embrace sweeping police reforms to (1) end discriminatory stop & frisk practices and over-militarization of departments, (2) institute racial sensitivity training and ensure the recruitment and promotion of officers of color, (3) transition police-involved investigations from district attorneys to special prosecutors, (4) institute civilian review boards with subpoena power and full authority to review cases, (5) track police officers accused or found guilty of misconduct, and ensure bad cops are removed from all law enforcement agencies, and (6) pass anti-racial profiling laws to guarantee future Constitutional violations will be identified and addressed. “So, bodycameras are not the panacea, but just a part of broader reforms,” said Curry.
The Boston NAACP also supports ACLU of Massachusetts’ work with others to present a model body-worn camera policy. “We fully understand that such a policy requires the balancing of a host of constitutional and public policy considerations, such as privacy rights, storage and cost,” said Ashley Brown, Political Action Director for the Boston NAACP. “However, this conversation must take place with community input to ensure it provides the maximum benefit for law enforcement and citizens when the facts are in question.”
(BALTIMORE, MD) – The NAACP family is saddened at the sudden passing of longtime NAACP Board Member Julian Bond. The Chairman Emeritus passed away at the age of 75, following a very brief illness.
For those who wish, you may make an online gift in Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond’s honor to the Julian Bond Professorship of Civil Rights and Social Justice, click here
“From his days as a young activist to his years as both an elder statesman and NAACP Chairman Emeritus, Julian Bond inspired a generation of civil rights leaders,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “From my days as a youth board member of the NAACP to my present tenure as NAACP Chairman, like so many of my generation and before, I am yet inspired by the depth and breadth of Chairman Emeritus Bond’s exemplary service: activist, writer, historian, professor, public intellectual, public servant and an unrelentingly eloquent voice for the voiceless. The grateful citizen heirs of the civil and human rights legacy of Julian Bond can neither be counted nor confined to a generation. Many of the most characteristically American freedoms enjoyed by so many Americans today were made real because of the lifelong sacrifice and service of Julian Bond. On behalf of the NAACP and our country, we ask for your prayers for his family.”
“The nation and the NAACP deeply grieve Julian Bond’s death even as we are profoundly grateful for his life,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “The arc of service of Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond’s life extends high and wide over America’s social justice landscape: as a young lieutenant of Martin Luther King Jr., gifted writer, eloquent speaker, esteemed professor, Georgia state senator, nominee for U.S. Vice President, revered civil rights leader, champion for marriage equality and well beloved NAACP Chairman Emeritus. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and soul deep prayers to his family. This is a moment of incalculable loss in a trying hour of innumerable civil right challenges. The life and legacy, indeed the eloquence of Julian Bond’s example, yet speak to the present and future of the NAACP.”
Details as to how to commemorate and memorialize Mr. Bond’s monumental legacy will be shared at the appropriate time.
While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was elected Board Chairman of the NAACP in 1998.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Bond’s family moved to Pennsylvania when he was five years old when his father, Horace Mann Bond, became the first African American President of Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), his alma mater. Bond attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and won a varsity letter for swimming. He also founded a literary magazine called The Pegasus and served as an intern at Time magazine.
Bond was a founding member of the SNCC and served as communications director from 1961 to 1966. From 1960 to 1963, he led student protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia. Bond graduated from Morehouse and helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). He was the organization’s president from 1971 to 1979.
Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. White members of the House refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the House had denied Bond his freedom of speech and had to seat him.
From 1965 to 1975, he served in the Georgia House and served six terms in the Georgia Senate from 1975 to 1986.
In 1968, Bond led a challenge delegation from Georgia to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and was the first African-American nominated as Vice President of the United States. He withdrew his name from the ballot because he was too young to serve.
Bond ran for the United States House of Representatives, but lost to civil rights leader John Lewis. In the 1980s and ‘90s, Bond taught at several universities, including American, Drexel, Williams, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard universities and the University of Virginia.
Bond continued with his activism as Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP, after serving 11 years as Chair, and working to educate the public about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the struggles that African Americans endured.
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 five “Game Changer” issue areas here.
On Saturday, July 14 approximately 20 youth, ranging in age from 14 to 20, gathered at the new office of the Boston NAACP for orientation. The students applied to participate in the Branch’s inaugural Summer Job – Pipeline to Leadership Program. A week prior, President Curry posted a message on Facebook seeking to find three kids to serve on the Branch’s Street Team, but received over 75 phone calls, emails and Facebook posts over the next 48 hours. “We realized that there was a huge demand for summer jobs in our community, and we needed the infusion of youthful energy, creativity and experience,” said President Curry. “Thanks to Mayor Menino and the City of Boston, we were able to secure the funds to provide stipends for 15 students to work for us.”
The youth received hours of training on the electoral process, canvassing and civic engagement, and then were charged with registering communities of color to vote. Since the first day of work, they have registered over 350 people to vote, and engaged hundreds of residents on the importance of voting. “We never realized just how important voting is and the impact it has on the allocation of resources,” said Herb Lozano, Youth Program Director. “We now understand that our efforts make a difference.” Herb is in his final year at Norfolk State University, majoring in Communications, and is considering a career in journalism.
In addition to non-partisan voter registration activities, petition drives, health advocacy, office work, discrimination complaint intake, planning a youth anti-violence rally and research on black businesses, the youth are also required to participate in leadership training. They have received presentations in public speaking, self-esteem, personal branding, models of black leadership, conflict resolution, race and racism, mass incarceration, NAACP history and community mobilization. They have also attended branch meetings with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and functions with UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley. This week, they will receive presentations from the Boston FBI, the Boston Police Department, a tour of the Boston Globe, and meet with Teri Williams of One United Bank and author of “I Got Bank! What My Grandad Taught Me About Money,” aimed at financial literacy for children through fiction.
The students have just three weeks remaining for the summer before returning to school. President Curry is hoping that the media will cover the activities of these youth—destined to be future leaders.
What inspires a man or woman to challenge authority when its laws and policies are discriminatory? Where does the selflessness come from that leads people to risk their lives for equality? How does a child come to realize the nobility in fighting for justice?
At what point does a leader muster the courage and vision to lead? How difficult is it to speak truth to power, knowing change and acknowledgment of that truth may come well after your death. In these questions lies the 100 year history of the nation’s oldest Civil Rights organization. For over a century, the NAACP and its branches have engaged governments and called upon the consciousness of its citizens to end discrimination and finally wipe out the taint of racial inequality.
While Jim Crow gained in strength, lynching became the preferred method of intimidation, and the story of the Springfield race riot of 1908 traveled the country, black and white men and women were meeting to discuss the civil rights of “colored” Americans. Out of a mostly African American group known as The Niagara Movement and a mostly white organization known as the National Negro Committee was born the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. Men and women, like you, they were able to see beyond the realities of their time and willing to invest in the future.
Through legal, legislative and regulatory action, civil disobedience, public discourse and awareness campaigns, voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote activities, scholarships, negotiations, advocacy and trainings, the NAACP has remained an unextractable and undeniable part of America’s progress.
The struggle continues, as disparities exist in so many areas of our society and complaints of discrimination and hate crimes continue to pour into our offices. We have also inherited the residual effects of legal segregation, just an historical minute ago, in communities afflicted with poverty, unemployment, drugs and youth violence. We continue to feed the prison pipeline—black and brown males dropping out and going from high school to prison.
We invite you to join the Boston Branch NAACP. Your leadership is needed equally as much today! This is the Right Place and the Right Time to get involved.
Michael A. Curry, Esq., President
Boston Branch NAACP
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the Boston NAACP joined the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, University of Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Compact and the Coalition of Community Groups in hosting the Community of Color Mayoral Forum. All 12 candidates participated and the Kroc Center’s auditorium was at capacity with standing room only.
The over 300 attendees were treated to a frank conversation about issues importance to communities of color (jobs, education, public safety and business). The Boston NAACP is proud to have participated in what was arguably the “game changing” event in this mayoral election.
The Boston NAACP issued a Communities of Color Mayoral Questionnaire to all of the candidates and received responses from 10 out of 12 candidates. The candidates were limited to 150 words for the publication. A version is being distributed in the community that is edited down to the limited text. However, CLICK HEREto read their responses in their entirety.