NAACP Culpeper #7058

Also Serving Madison and Rappahannock Counties

About Critical Race Theory

 

To Our Community:

In light of recent national and local conversations and controversy regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT), NAACP-Culpeper would like to offer support, guidance, and clarity to our community. Below you will find information regarding CRT as well as teaching practices that are centered on equity.

 

What is CRT?

CRT is an academic framework that examines the impact of systemic racism on American society. It is not taught in K-12 schools because it is not developmentally appropriate to do so; it is used in fields of professional and academic research. Some of the underpinning assumptions of CRT, however, can already be found in curricula in many schools. In recent months, CRT has become a catch-all term for school programs (teacher education, curriculum, and more) that focus on anti-racist practices, social justice, and/or diversity and equity.

Is CRT new?

No. CRT became widely read and used beginning in the 1970s in legal research. The practices that are being inaccurately described as CRT (anti-racist education, for example) are also not new. Classroom conversations that include discussions about race and racism are also not new (although it is important to note that this is not CRT). In fact, even early childhood curricula have included discussions about skin color and racial identity for many decades. Since race is a part of people’s identities (just like where they were born or what holidays they celebrate or how their families are structured), conversations about race happen all the time in schools. Additionally, it is easy to find examples of discussions about race that occur in history or English classes for older students, since studies about history and English are studies about individuals and groups of people. When you study people, you also will encounter issues of race and equity. It is incredibly difficult (not to mention bad practice), for example, to teach the American Civil War without discussing race.

So what does teaching for equity look like?

Some of the objections to CRT can be more accurately described as objections to teaching for equity (which can include social justice education, culturally relevant teaching, anti-racist teaching, and more-these are different from each other but overlap in important ways). Teaching for equity includes: ensuring that all students’ identities are welcomed and celebrated; providing instructional materials that reflect a wide variety of perspectives (including various racial identities); a curriculum that is high-level, accessible to all students and emphasizes critical thinking; and ongoing teacher learning so that educators are reflecting on their practices in a continual way.

In a classroom, this looks like a library of books and resources that include lots of different kinds of characters. It can also be a classroom rich in discussion about current events so kids have ample opportunity to practice critical thinking and discourse. It may also be a history unit that includes several primary resources from different demographic groups, so that students may consider multiple perspectives. In a primary classroom, it may look like a read aloud about a community much like theirs, a rural one, but in an entirely different part of the world. It can also look like a guest speaker coming to share how their family celebrates a holiday unfamiliar to most of the students in the class.

Does teaching for equity teach Black, Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial children to feel victimized? 

No. Many families are concerned about this-no one wants children to feel dis-empowered or victimized. When multiple perspectives are presented, however, children of color are more likely to find themselves in the learning, which leads to a deeper and more rigorous educational experience. Classrooms in which students are welcomed to bring their full identities to the community, including their racial identities, are more likely to be classrooms in which students feel safe and known. This also leads to greater and deeper learning.

Does it teach White children to feel guilty?

No. This is a concern of many parents of White children, and understandably so. No one wants their children to feel guilty or upset,  including teachers who teach for equity; that’s not the goal. Teaching about the history of race and racism should empower students to make the world better and more equitable. Slavery and Jim Crow, for example, are painful parts of our history, but students need to understand how these came about and how the lingering effects of them are still apparent today so that they may be empowered to ensure that we continue to work toward equity for all. Including multiple voices when studying periods of history or when reading literature also asks students to consider new ideas and perspectives. Moreover, asking students to engage in critical discourse prepares them to be active citizens of their community, both now and when they are grown.

Is teaching about race and racism indoctrination?

No. Presenting students with resources that reflect multiple perspectives means that students are learning to look critically at historical events, literature, media and more. All of us want our students to think critically and independently…that’s what this kind of teaching supports. It teaches children HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

Does NAACP-Culpeper support CRT in our K-12 schools?

No-CRT is for higher ed, not K-12! We DO, however, support teaching for equity, which is often inaccurately conflated with CRT. We know that structural racism exists-the data is unequivocal on this. We also know that education is one area of our society where we simply cannot ignore opportunity gaps. Every child deserves a high-quality, rigorous education that pushes them to reach their full potential.  Currently, not all students have these opportunities; students of color, especially Black students, continue to achieve at much lower levels than their White peers in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock counties. There are significant gaps between White and Black/Hispanic students’ reading levels, math achievement, graduation rates, and participation in gifted education programs and AP programs.

Teaching for equity supports the closing of these gaps. Research shows that a positive school climate where all students feel welcomed and valued leads to higher achievement for all children (students of color as well as White students), as does rigorous, high-level instructional programming. Teaching for equity IS high-quality, rigorous education because it engages students in higher-level thinking that encourages them to consider multiple perspectives. It also affirms and welcomes the identities of all students in a classroom, not just those in the racial majority.

As a civil rights organization, we will continue to fight for this every single day. Education IS a civil right.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at education@naacpculpeper.com . You are also invited to attend our NAACP general membership meetings, held over zoom the third Thursday each month.

Sincerely,

NAACP-Culpeper Education Committee
Dr. Laurel Blackmon, Chair

Jason Ford
Simone Kiere
Robert Legge
Bettie Mahan-Berry
Nancy Peacock
Fred Sapp

One of the Earliest Memorial Day Ceremonies Was Held by Freed African Americans

When Charleston fell and Confederate troops evacuated the badly damaged city, those freed from enslavement remained. One of the first things those emancipated men and women did was to give the fallen Union prisoners a proper burial. They exhumed the mass grave and reinterred the bodies in a new cemetery with a tall whitewashed fence inscribed with the words: “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

And then on May 1, 1865, something even more extraordinary happened. According to two reports that Blight found in The New York Tribune and The Charleston Courier, a crowd of 10,000 people, mostly freed slaves with some white missionaries, staged a parade around the race track. Three thousand Black schoolchildren carried bouquets of flowers and sang “John Brown’s Body.” Members of the famed 54th Massachusetts and other Black Union regiments were in attendance and performed double-time marches. Black ministers recited verses from the Bible.

One of the Earliest Memorial Day Ceremonies Was Held by Freed African Americans

Enough with playing it nice and safe in the fight against anti-Blackness.

It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place. Often, after a new hashtag begins trending on social media, a variety of tweets and posts speaking out against anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence soon follow. Which, I suppose, is fine, but very few extend far beyond their comfort zone in their advocacy efforts. This is not to say that allyship in any form is not helpful, but it’s time to start being clear about what is needed and what ultimately perpetuates White supremacy and further insulates White guilt. Let’s be honest: to combat anti-Blackness in America, we don’t need allies. We need abolitionists.

We Don’t Need Allies, We Need Abolitionists

While following the Derek Chauvin trial, I’ve noticed one common theme that also struck me immediately following the gruesome killing of George Floyd – White people speaking out against racism after the fact. It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place.

Tell Gov. Ralph Northam to Take Action Now!

#EndQualifiedImmunity

The Culpeper Branch #7058 stands in solidarity with the Isle of Wight Chapter and the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP in calling on Governor Ralph Northam to call a special legislative session to pass HB2045 sponsored by Del. Jeff Bourne. Local, state and federal officials must properly investigate this matter to the fullest extent, and propose a Plan of Action for the Town of Windsor and the Commonwealth of Virginia to immediately act on.

Tell Gov. Ralph Northam to Take Action Now!

Do you know the story behind Black Lives Matter?

The Black Lives Matter movement is a force. It’s been unapologetic about who it represents and has been doing the work to point out the many racial injustices that African Americans face in the land of the (kinda) free. Eight years have passed since George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Since then, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbury, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and a litany of other Black Americans have fallen to racial violence. The BLM movement, which started as a hashtag in 2013, sheds light on all those killings. It forces America to sit in its savagery.

The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Alicia Garza, will be in conversation with Zora editor-in-chief Vanessa De Luca. March is Women’s History Month, but this coming together of two Black titans would be special anytime, anywhere. Find out what it took to organize the most important civil rights movement of the 21st century. And listen to what it truly means to go past a hashtag on social media.

These conversations are needed. Perhaps now more than ever. Join Vanessa and Alicia for this live Zoom conversation titled “The Purpose of Power”. The event begins today at 4:15 ET/1:15 PT. Please register here https://medium.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PbGFzdrwRviebNfgegCtUw

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.

Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall

 

In the next episode of the series on Thursday, February 25 at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT, we will provide an update on the spread of COVID-19 and the latest research on vaccines, therapies, and options.

 

 

Moderated by ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent, Deborah Roberts, we will speak with champions at the forefront of stabilizing the crisis and ensuring a healthy recovery including:

  • Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP
  • Dr. Chris Pernell, Public Health Physician
  • Dr. Reed Tuckson, Founding Member and CEO, Black Coalition Against COVID-19
  • Dr. Cameron Webb, Senior Policy Advisor for Equity, White House COVID-19 Response Team

 

 

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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NAACP Culpeper Announces Black History Month Essay Contest

Black History Month

Contest Open to Students in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock Counties

Culpeper, VA February 10, 2021 – The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP, also serving Madison and Rappahannock counties, has announced its sponsorship of a student essay contest in commemoration of Black History Month. The contest is open to elementary, middle, and high school students in Culpeper, Madison, and Rappahannock counties.

Contest winners will be recognized by the NAACP Culpeper Branch at the March meeting and will also win a gift certificate.

Elementary School Students

Elementary school students should submit an essay of up to 250 words addressing the question, “What does African American history mean to me?” The student submitting the winning essay will receive a $50 gift certificate.

Middle School Students

Middle school students should submit an essay of up to 250 words addressing the question: “What is the most important moment in African American history to you and why?” The student submitting the winning essay will receive a $150 gift certificate.

High School Students

High school students should submit an essay of up to 500 words addressing the question: “Why is African American history so critical to the history of the United States?” The student submitting the winning essay will receive a $300 gift certificate.

Essays should be submitted via email to secretary@naacpculpeper.org by February 28, 2021. Essays can also be mailed to NAACP Culpeper, P.O. Box 687, Culpeper, VA, 22701, and should have a postmark no later than February 28. The winners will be announced in March.

Questions may be directed to secretary@naacpculpeper.org.

 

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. For more information on meetings, events, and membership, visit www.naacpculpeper.org. For Zoom links and call-in information for meetings, please email secretary@naacpculpeper.org or call 540-948-4092.

 

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