NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Category: News (Page 1 of 5)

This is Culpeper, and we deserve better. We can do better.

If you spend more time on SWAT training than in de-escalation training, then the results will match that investment. If you spend more money on special combat assault rifles than funding positions and partnerships for mental health, then the results will match your investment.

In short, you get what you pay for; only, we’re all paying for it—with both our taxes and our lives.

COMMENTARY: Culpeper shootings demand a cultural shift

We are a nation of plurality; our diversity is our strength. I would hope that despite where you fall on the political spectrum, you’ll hear my heart and help find solutions to the problems we face right here in Culpeper.

NAACP Culpeper Presents Captains of Community Awards

Reaves, Sledge, and Hunter Recognized for Commitment to Justice

 Culpeper, Virginia February 18, 2021 – The Rev. Dr. Uzziah A. Harris, president of the NAACP Culpeper Branch, also representing Madison and Rappahannock counties, recently recognized three local advocates for equity and justice as “Captains of Community.” The awards were presented at the branch’s annual celebration event honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in January.

Brianna Simone Reaves, a student at the University of Mary Washington, was recognized as a community leader and activist for racial justice. Reaves is president of the NAACP’s University of Mary Washington Branch and vice president of the NAACP Virginia State Conference Youth and College Division. “Brianna has a voice that cannot be quieted,” Dr. Harris stated. “She was a co-organizer of the 2020 march in Culpeper protesting police brutality across the nation, a peaceful event that drew more than 800 people. She is a Dean’s List student and an exceptional advocate for the cause of racial justice.”

Dr. Harris also recognized Pastor Adrian Sledge as a Captain of Community. Sledge, a longtime community leader, founded the MOVE Ministry (Maximizing Opportunities and Gaining Victory Through Excellence) with his wife, Ronica. “Pastor Sledge has been an outstanding proponent for justice and change,” Dr. Harris stated. Sledge served as the keynote speaker for the NAACP Culpeper 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr., observance event.

The third Captain of Community award was presented to Amy M. Hunter of Culpeper. “The mother of three boys, Amy has served her family and her community with distinction,” Dr. Harris stated. “She created the petition and led the effort to remove the Confederate flag at Lenn Park. We thank her for her willingness and courage to speak up and take action in the fight for justice.”

The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP meets on the third Thursday evening of the month at 7 pm and is currently meeting via Zoom. The tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which originally aired on January 18 and features a number of speakers including Pastor Sledge, can be viewed on the NAACP Culpeper website or at https://naacpculpeper.org/mlk-2021-celebration/. For more information on meetings, events, and membership, visit www.naacpculpeper.org or contact secretary@naacpculpeper.org.

 

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Support SJ272 to eliminate voting restrictions against felons and the intellectually disabled

This morning, the Senate Privileges & Elections Committee voted in a bipartisan fashion to advance SJR272, the constitutional voting rights amendment. This is a major Virginia NAACP VICTORY!

Laws that were passed in the early 1900s that put unreasonable restrictions can still be felt today. This amendment not only lifts restrictions on qualifications to vote for those who have been convicted of a felony or adjudicated to be mentally incompetent, but it ensures that restrictive, unethical, and racially biased laws cannot be enacted or enforced.

As you know, passing Senator Mamie Locke’s Constitutional Amendment is our #1 legislative priority for this session. Therefore, we are asking for your support over the next 24 hours to help apply pressure to Senators before it heads to the full Senate.

Add your name!

 

Virginia NAACP Applauds Committee Passage of Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment and Demands Swift Passage By Full Senate – Virginia NAACP

RICHMOND (February 4, 2021) -Virginia State Conference NAACP President Robert N. Barnette, Jr. issued the following statement today following the passage of

Crisis Magazine

The Crisis

Dear NAACP member,

Thank you for your continued commitment to social justice and civil rights.

In 2020, we celebrated the 110th Anniversary of The Crisis magazine. When W.E.B. Du Bois created The Crisis in 1910, he noted that it would be “a record of the darker races” and it became the official publication of the NAACP.

We know that The Crisis is a benefit of your NAACP membership and was recently made aware that some members did not receive the digital editions of The Crisis magazine that were produced in 2020. We apologize for this oversight.

We published four issues of The Crisis in 2020 — one hard copy and three digital issues. After 110 years, we continue to be “a record of the darker races.” The Crisis digital issues are packed with stories that document the journey and experience of African Americans during a year of social unrest, a pandemic, and the election of Kamala Harris as the nation’s first African American, first South Asian, and first woman Vice President of the United States.

Please check out the links to the digital issues below.

If you are interested in receiving hard copies of the digital issues, please send your contact information (name and mailing address) to membership (membership@naacpnet.org) or Ms. India Artis (iartis@naacpnet.org). We will mail you hard copies of the last three issues that were published in 2020.

Thank you again for your membership in the NAACP. Together we will continue to fight for a society in which all persons have equal rights.

The Crisis Digital Issues

If your loved one is hesitant to get the Covid-19 vaccine, share this

(CNN)Your loved ones are right to have questions about the Covid-19 vaccine — the American public hasn’t watched vaccine development this closely since Dr. Jonas Salk discovered how to immunize kids from polio in the ’50s.

But vaccine hesitancy could put a dangerous damper on the country’s Covid-19 response. Pockets of some populations most at risk of severe sickness from Covid-19, including young nurses and Black Americans, are still dubious of the vaccine — because of the speed at which it was developed, its contents, and potential side effects.

To answer questions your family and friends may have about the Covid-19 vaccine, we consulted with two experts:

  • Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Dr. Ruth Karron, a leading vaccine expert and professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Medical experts, successful clinical trials, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have repeatedly assured us of the safety and effectiveness of the two Covid-19 vaccines available now, from Moderna and Pfizer.
But health experts take your concerns seriously, too, said, Schaffner.
“We have to regard everybody’s hesitation and skepticism seriously,” he said. “This is a new virus in the human population, new vaccines using new technologies, so you understand that people are somewhat hesitant.”

If your loved one is hesitant to get the Covid-19 vaccine, share this

To answer questions you or your loved ones may have about the Covid-19 vaccine, we consulted with two experts. The evidence supports the safety and efficacy of the two Covid-19 vaccines currently authorized.

Special Election in Culpeper on March 30

In-person early voting starts Feb 12 at the office of the Registrar 151, N Main St., Suite 301, Culpeper VA. Election day is March 30th. Absentee by mail ballots can be requested by calling the Registrar 540-825-0652. Business hours are 8:30 a to 4:30 p weekdays. Closed on President’s Day Feb 15.

COMMENTARY: Culpeper clerk of court tasked with many responsibilities

Culpeper County will hold a special election on March 30. As of this writing, at least two individuals have announced their candidacy for the position. Since a large percentage of the county’s eligible voters are expected to take part, I share what I have learned about the importance of the position and summarize the duties of the office.

NAACP Culpeper Branch Elects Harris as President

CONTACT INFORMATION:

NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058
Cindy Taylor
secretary@naacpculpeper.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Culpeper, VA January 6 – The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP, also serving Madison and Rappahannock counties, has elected the Rev. Dr. Uzziah Anthony Harris as its president for the 2021-2022 term. Dr. Harris had previously served as vice president of the organization. He succeeds Sandra Reaves-Yates, who served as president for two terms, beginning in 2017.

A North Carolina native and resident of Culpeper, Dr. Harris is an educator, certified life coach, and ordained minister. He is currently a teacher and coach at Floyd T. Binns Middle School in Culpeper. Dr. Harris holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and education from the College of William & Mary (1999) and earned both a Master of Divinity (2012) and a Doctor of Divinity (2014) from the Virginia Triumphant College and Seminary. He was ordained by the school in 2016.

Dr. Harris has been a participant in the Virginia Commonwealth University Grace E. Harris Minority Political Leadership Institute and the Sorensen Political Leadership Institute at the University of Virginia. He is the author of three books, including Trial by Fire: Deliberation Over the Soul of a Nation.

“I’m grateful to my predecessor, Mrs. Sandra Reaves-Yates, and to all who are committed to the important work of the NAACP,” Dr. Harris stated at his installation in December. “To meet the challenges of the new year, with the ongoing racial unrest and the pandemic, it is clear that, more than 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, we must still continue this important work. We must build bridges and create policies that enable us to move forward on racial equity in education, in employment, and throughout our communities.”

In addition to Dr. Harris, officers for the 2021-2022 term include the Rev. Frank D. Lewis, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Madison, who is serving as vice president; Cindy Taylor, who is serving her second term as secretary; and Harold Boyd, who is serving his second term as treasurer. Sandra Reaves-Yates and Ren LeVally were elected as at-large members of the board.

Presiding over her final meeting as president in December, Reaves-Yates presented several awards to branch members for leadership and service. NAACP Culpeper Image awards were presented to Gwendolyn Sanford, who chaired the branch’s Education Committee, and the Rev. Sanford Reaves, Jr., a former NAACP Culpeper president who chaired the Legal Redress Committee. Service awards were presented to Treasurer Harold Boyd; Rose and Mike Herrity, who helped oversee the Freedom Fund fundraising effort; and Ren LeVally, an at-large board member and chair of the Public Relations Committee. Marilyn and Ed Dunphy were presented with the Community Service award. Secretary Cindy Taylor was presented with the 2020 President’s Award.

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. The NAACP has more than 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over two million activists. The organization’s mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP meets on the third Thursday evening of the month at 7 pm and is currently meeting via Zoom. The branch will host a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on January 18, 2021, at 1 pm. The event will be live-streamed on the NAACP Culpeper website and Facebook page. For more information on meetings, events, and membership, visit https://naacpculpeper.org.

 

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How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men

While COVID-19 has killed 1 out of every 800 African Americans, a toll that overwhelms the imagination, even more stunning is the deadly efficiency with which it has targeted young Black men like Bates. One study using data through July found that Black people ages 35 to 44 were dying at nine times the rate of white people the same age, though the gap slightly narrowed later in the year. And in an analysis for ProPublica this summer using the only reliable data at the time accounting for age, race and gender, from Michigan and Georgia, Harvard researcher Tamara Rushovich found that the disparity was greatest in Black men.

They were pillars of their communities and families, and they are not replaceable. To understand why COVID-19 killed so many young Black men, you need to know the legend of John Henry.

How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men

The Rev. Dr. Kejuane Artez Bates was a big man with big responsibilities. The arrival of the novel coronavirus in Vidalia, Louisiana, was another burden on a body already breaking under the load. Bates was in his 10th year with the Vidalia Police Department, assigned as a resource officer to the upper elementary school.

Virginia NAACP names Da’Quan Marcell Love as Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
press@naacpva.org

VIRGINIA NAACP NAMES DA’QUAN MARCELL LOVE
STATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Da’Quan Marcell LoveRICHMOND (December 1, 2020) – The Virginia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Virginia NAACP) has selected Da’Quan Marcell Love as Executive Director, it was announced today. Love, 28, will make history, becoming the youngest state executive director in NAACP history when he takes office in January 2021.

A Henrico, Virginia native, Mr. Love is a longtime member, leader, and respected civil rights activist who will be tasked with guiding the Virginia NAACP through a period of tremendous challenge and opportunity at a key point in its 85-year history. The Virginia NAACP has undergone transitions in leadership over the past several years as it re-imagines itself to take on a tumultuous and contentious social and political climate.

“Da’Quan comes to us with a wealth of experience on the national level. He has the business acumen, strategic leadership, and knowledge of the Association to lead our State Headquarters and serve our membership in an outstanding manner,” said Robert N. Barnette, Jr., President of the Virginia NAACP. “As a civil rights veteran, he is intimately knowledgeable about the issues that Black Virginians face and that the Virginia NAACP must work to address,” he added.

National NAACP Administrator Gloria Sweet-Love commented: “Having worked with the Virginia NAACP over the past two years, I’m confident that Da’Quan is the perfect candidate to lead this state conference forward so it can implement its strategic plan.” She continued, “Mr. Love’s unique knowledge of the internal workings of the NAACP and the professional relationships he brings from the political arena will undoubtedly elevate the Virginia NAACP’s political advocacy efforts.”

Mr. Love was selected by the Executive Committee after a national search yielded over 60 highly-qualified candidates.

A former member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, Da’Quan served in many national leadership roles including vice-chair of the annual national convention, and chair of the National Youth Work Committee. As national youth work chair, he led the programmatic oversight of the NAACP’s youth and college units across the country. He formerly served as president of the Virginia State Conference NAACP Youth & College Division, where he successfully led a campaign to stop the proposed invalidation of more than 16,000 voter registration applications in 2012.

Aligned with the Virginia NAACP’s intense focus on non-partisan political and voter engagement for the 2021 election cycle, Da’Quan brings an unmatched political acumen to the state conference. A former state legislative candidate and political staffer, Da’Quan has worked on numerous local, state, and federal political campaigns as a fundraiser and strategist.

Da’Quan earned his bachelor’s in political science from historically-black Hampton University and his master’s in teaching from North Carolina State University. He serves on the board of directors of Profound Gentlemen and New Leaders Council-North Carolina and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Da’Quan will be the sixth full-time executive director of the Virginia NAACP, following the likes of former executive directors: Lester Banks (Executive Secretary) 1947-1977; Jack Gravely 1977-1984; W. Paul Matthews 1984-1986; Linda Byrd Harden 1987-1998; King Salim Khalfani 1998-2014.

 

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA NAACP:

Founded in 1935, the Virginia State Conference of NAACP Branches (Virginia NAACP) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the Commonwealth. The Virginia NAACP is focused on being the preeminent voice of Black Virginians and advocating for policies and programs to benefit Blacks and people of color. You can read more about the Virginia NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting  VSCNAACP.org.

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An Open Letter to the Members of the Culpeper School Board and Board of Supervisors

October 23, 2020

Dear County School Board and Board of Supervisors Members:

The members of the NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058 are concerned about the most recent efforts by our Board of Supervisors (BOS) and CCPS School Board to politicize the operations and funding of our public schools. Various members of the BOS seem to see the difficult decisions made by the School Board relative to the safe operation of schools during the pandemic as an opportunity to score political points by diverting county funding away from our public schools.

During the budget process last spring, the school system was asked to propose a minimal operational budget in part because the county was unsure of its ability to fund the schools and other essential services throughout the pandemic. This request was honored by the school system but the BOS shaved an additional $1.4 million from the proposal. Perhaps the motivation leading the county at the time was to consider how they would move forward if tax revenues dropped due to lower sales tax collections. However, only a few months later the county finds itself with no such sales tax deficit; in fact, revenues are ahead of last year. In spite of this, several supervisors have expressed a desire to reduce school funding not for the sake of our community, but for their own political gain.

If left unchecked, the BOS (with both the implicit and explicit consent of a majority of the CCPS School Board) would like to cripple the public school system to the point of only being able to provide the bare minimum Standards of Quality (SOQ) requirements mandated by the State. What would this type of funding and (by consequence) educational scenario mean for our children?

What is being haphazardly suggested by certain members of both the BOS and CCPS School Board flies in the face of both the professionals who have made it their life’s work to educate as well as our community members who have overwhelmingly made their choice in favor of the virtual learning model. This ill-advised course of action will cause the elimination of many popular educational programs that exceed the State’s minimum requirements. In addition, it will cause overcrowding of classes/school buildings inconsistent with CDC and VA guidelines. It may also inadvertently cause an exodus of great educators (educators who are both a part of our community and who commute to it). These valued professionals need not travel farther than a couple of counties over not only to make more money but to make that money in a safer and more supportive environment. This is not the quality of education nor the educational environment that the Culpeper NAACP wants for our students or for our community; nor is it the quality that you should afford said community and our students.

Nearly 60% of parents have opted to have their children attend virtual classes per the State and order of the Governor; it is also their right. It is the responsibility of the School Board to honor this request and the responsibility of the BOS to ensure the adequate funding of these initiatives. As a side note, it is also the responsibility of the School Board and BOS to follow all CDC and State Department of Health guidelines pertaining to COVID19 pandemic safety. We will not sit by passively as some School Board and BOS members push for a dangerous “herd immunity” strategy that is rooted in political doctrine more than science and data. In the words of William Hasseltine, President and Chair of ACCESS Health International, “Herd immunity is another word for mass murder.” Our community is highly susceptible to the virus and our economy, easily influenced by its effects on small businesses—we don’t have the time or resources, or people to waste.

In light of all of these concerns, we’d also wish to point out the lack of diversity on both the BOS and CCPS School Board. The abrupt and untimely resignation of Board Chair Michelle North leaves a vacuum in terms of steady leadership and we are asking that the process of filling the vacated seat include more of a concerted effort on the part of the BOS and CCPS School Board to reach out to an expanded pool of applicants. We wish for applicants who will provide more diverse and inclusive perspectives to augment the current board’s makeup. In order for the voices of the entire community to be heard, we must have a representative on the Board who understands both our background and ideals.

Sincerely,

Culpeper NAACP Branch #7058

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