NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

Category: News (Page 2 of 6)

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

Response to Sheriff Scott Jenkins’ Post of Violent Action of Antifa & Black Lives Matter

NAACP Culpeper Branch #7058 General Meeting Time: Oct 1, 2020, 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89894541503?pwd=RnZuUE5SRTh3TUVLcmFVdVRvcDhUdz09

 

As leaders and public servants in the Culpeper community, on behalf of the Culpeper NAACP, also representing Madison and Rappahannock Counties, I chose to delay our response to the recent controversial posts and remarks by our Sheriff to have an opportunity to confer with our NAACP officials, as well as an opportunity to go straight to the source for clarification and intent.

The Culpeper community has flourished in building a cohesive, communicative environment, and as such, I would like to feel that we can continue in that vein. The NAACP, particularly the Culpeper Branch, has always engendered that cooperation and, more importantly, stands for the uplifting of all people. We have never in the past, nor moving forward, condoned acts of threats or harm to any community.

The remarks, as they were written and interpreted by many in our community, were harmful, hurtful, divisive in nature, and highly disappointing. As leaders, we are held to a higher standard, and whether intended or not, the comments have produced a great deal of hurt and pain to many who call Culpeper home.

We have met with our Sheriff and representatives of his office and will continue efforts to find resolve in recent issues that have impacted our community in such an astounding way. We have worked to build bridges leading to a better, more inclusive Culpeper, and are going to collectively shore up those bridges now in need of repair.

While Culpeper is not perfect, we have built, together, a safe community filled with love, support, hard workers, respect, and yes, believers. We will continue the work needed, not just talk, to participate in building a community we can all be proud of; one worthy of fighting for today, tomorrow and the rest of our lives, well beyond November.

GET OUT AND VOTE OR MAIL IN YOUR BALLOTS!!

Sandra Reaves-Yates, President

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

New Guidance on Absentee Ballots

 

Over the first few days of early voting, a number of Virginians who had previously requested absentee ballots but had not received those ballots appeared at registrar’s offices and satellite locations across the Commonwealth to vote in person. The statute governing this situation, Va. Code § 24.2-708(B), was unclear, so we sought clarification.As the ELECT guidance explains “[i]f the voter states either they have not received their mail ballot or have lost their mail ballot,” the voter should be directed to sign SBE-708 (the “Gold Form”) and be allowed to vote a regular ballot after doing so. Please confirm that your registrar has seen this guidance and is in conformity with it.

(NB: This only applies to the early voting period; on Election Day, the voter must cast a provisional ballot. However, unlike other provisional ballots that require the voter to take further action to “cure” an issue, these provisional ballots will automatically convert into a regular ballot once the locality’s electoral board confirms that the absentee ballot was not cast.)

Additionally, the guidance notes that “it is not appropriate for election officials to question a voter who states that they have not received or lost their mail ballot.” So long as the voter “has [1] applied for and has [2] been sent an absentee ballot,” § 24.2-708(B) applies if “for any reason . . . [the voter] does not receive the ballot[.]”

If a voter has received their previously requested absentee ballot but prefers to vote in person, they should bring the ballot with them to the early voting location to exchange for a regular ballot. If they do not bring the ballot with them, they will have to vote a provisional ballot—but that provisional will automatically convert after the electoral board confirms the absentee ballot was not cast.

Questions? Please contact your local Registrar https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation/PublicContactLookup

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

Wanton endangerment.

That is what the reckless murder of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was reduced to by a Louisville grand jury earlier today.

For nearly 200 days, we have demanded accountability and justice, but instead, today, we were patronized by Kentucky’s Attorney General, Daniel Cameron. One officer was charged for the wanton endangerment of others in connection to the death of Breonna Taylor, but nobody was charged for actually killing her.

Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor

This is not justice for Breonna Taylor. This is an insult to her memory, and a disregard of Black lives.

Make no mistake, the unsubstantial charges against officer Brett Hankinson are an attempt to placate the Black community and those who have rallied on Breonna’s behalf all summer long. But we will not be silenced, and we will never stop demanding real justice. It is unacceptable that, once again, culpability has eluded those guilty of state-sanctioned murder.

The system failed Breonna Taylor and, as such, failed us.

We know that justice is a proper indictment and conviction for all 3 officers involved in the shooting. We know that justice means a complete overhaul of policing within Black communities, not just in Louisville, but across the country. We know that justice is protecting Black lives at all costs, and not treating us as collateral damage in botched arrests. We know that justice is leaders in our state and local governments who put people over politics.

Friend, now is the time to use our voice louder than you’ve ever used it before. If we want real justice for Breonna Taylor, we must fight for it in the courts, we must fight for it in our very own communities – online and offline – and we must fight for it at the polls.

We are upset, and rightfully so, but we must take our anger from protest to power.

In Solidarity,

Derrick Johnson
@DerrickNAACP
President and CEO
NAACP

How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering

In the 1930s, federal officials redlined these neighborhoods in Richmond, Va., marking them as risky investments because residents were Black.

Today, they are some of the hottest parts of town in the summer, with few trees and an abundance of heat-trapping pavement.

White neighborhoods that weren’t redlined tend to be much cooler today — a pattern that repeats nationwide.

 

2020 Virtual March on Washington

For generations, African Americans in this country have faced an anti-Black pandemic. From the unjust killings of innocent African Americans to the disproportionate impact of a global health pandemic, Black people have been getting attacked on all fronts. This moment has exposed the inequality embedded in the underlying fabric of our nation.

Join the thousands – virtually-who will March on Washington to set forth a bold new Black agenda restore and recommit to the dream. The Commitment March, convened by Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., for an inclusive day of action.

The 2020 Virtual March on Washington and the Commitment March will take place on the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The head of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP said Friday that the organization is demanding that lawmakers advance measures to reform policing and the state’s criminal justice system and declare “racism as a public health crisis” during next week’s special session.

In a virtual press conference, Robert Barnette, the president of both the Virginia State Conference NAACP and the Hanover County NAACP, called on legislators to address police accountability and racial bias in law enforcement.

“What we’ve witnessed across the nation is an unprecedented response to the killing of George Floyd. His death has awakened in all of us the necessity of now to make lasting and meaning reform to policing and our criminal justice system,” Barnette said in his opening remarks. “That along with the effects of the coronavirus, a historic pandemic, has exposed the institutional and systemic racism pervasive in our systems within our criminal justice system. The Commonwealth of Virginia is not immune to the effects of racism and it must be addressed now.”

Virginia NAACP urges state lawmakers to declare racism a public health crisis

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