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Monday, May 26, 2008

NAACP - A Second Look - Part I

I'm back home after being in Arizona for the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit as a guest of my new best friend brother Kevin Miles, Branch President of the Wichita Branch of the NAACP, along with Ms. Roslyn McCallister Brock, Vice Chair of the National NAACP National Board. Who is also my new best friend.

I'm writing my observations and thoughts regarding my experience at the 4th annual NAACP Leadership 500 Summit with the following backdrop understanding:

Looking Backwards

My thoughts before attending NAACP Leadership 500 Summit

The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. I've written previously that I'm not sure over the past 30 years the NAACP has had a realistic Strategic Plan to implement it's mission, while including black folks from the hood to the board room in the NAACP.

For years the NAACP has done a reasonable job at including the talented 10th, but has failed to include the poor. For some time I like a majority of black Americans have been concerned with the decline of the organization. For some time the NAACP has been wresting on its success in gaining support for Anti-Lynching Bill, Voting Rights, Brown V Board of Education and other issues of 50 years ago.

The NAACP has in my humble opinion failed to maintain its status as a champion of social justice. Yes it fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard, but it is an organization that has not developed a concrete outreach effort to engage black folks at a grassroots level to become members of the NAACP so that we as black Americans can work from all classes of black America to truly save lives and change many negative aspects of black American society in the 21st century. I attended the Summit to learn for myself if the NAACP is still stuck in a mind-set that worked 50 years ago but makes little sense today.

My thoughts after attending NAACP Leadership 500 Summit

The Good, The Bad and Ugly

The Good

The Leadership 500 Summit is billed as a unique opportunity to transform the NAACP brand into action for a new generation of civil rights activists.

When I arrived at Leadership 500 Summit I was greeted by Kevin Myles, and was immediately introduced to NAACP National Board of Directors Vice Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock. OK, I must say I was surprised that the Vice President is actually so young. I was happy to see that a woman is in the V Chair position. I had an opportunity to meet with her throughout the summit. V. Chair Brock is truly a great visionary who is preparing for the road ahead.

Ms. Brock believes "leaders are not born; they’re developed either because of opportunity or necessity,”and as conceiver of the summit she is prepared to build and broaden NAACP membership and build effective leadership through careful thought, consideration and strategic action. Ms. Brock assured me that she is eager to partner with the afrospear and other black bloggers who are prepared to unite around common interest. I'm eager to work with Ms. Brock and the staff of the NAACP to make that happen. I've even become a new dues paying member.

Please join me as I post more About my experience, and share the good, a little about the bad and just a little of the ugly in my next installment of The NAACP - A Second Look - Part II.

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