NAACP Youth and College Division Continues to ExpandMay 21, 2009
The NAACP Youth and College Division recently chartered and reactivated several Youth units nationwide. Since the beginning of 2009, the Division has welcomed a total of 11 new or reactivated units. The newly chartered units include Utah Valley University, Long Island University C. W. Post Campus, Loyola University of Chicago, Cameron University College Chapter, Phoenix Community College, and the Greater Norristown Youth Council. The Vancouver Youth Council, Tampa Youth Council, Anchorage Youth Council, Drake University College Chapter, and the Charlotte County Youth Council were reactivated as local Youth units.
Since its creation in 1936, the NAACP Youth and College Division has played an integral role in advancing the fight for equality and justice. The Division was formed largely due to the organization’s belief in the development of a new generation of civil rights leadership. Currently, there are more than 30,000 young people representing 600 Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters actively involved in social justice advocacy by addressing local and national issues including education, Fairness & Opportunity, health, juvenile justice, and voter empowerment.
“From the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s to the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s, students have assumed roles at the forefront of most major social movements,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Our Youth and College Division serves as an iconic representation of the NAACP’s past achievements and a beacon of hope for the future of human rights.”
The NAACP Youth & College Division’s mission is to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and their harmonious cooperation with other peoples; to stimulate an appreciation of the African Diaspora and other people of color’s contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent, militant effective youth leadership.
Several objectives are employed by the Youth and College Division as it seeks to develop a new cohort of leaders. These objectives include leadership and activism training, proactive political and community activism, recruitment and maintenance of new and existing youth units, and public awareness of the necessity of youth involvement, and youth leadership and civil rights training.
“The Youth and College Division provides participants with the tools necessary to lead not just as civil rights advocates but in all endeavors,” said Stefanie Brown, National Field Director for the Youth and College Division. “These young people embrace their roles as trendsetters and leaders of the upcoming generation.”
The role of the Youth and College Division in the development of future leaders is evidenced in its distinguished list of Youth and College alumni. Many of the NAACP’s prominent leaders began their careers in civil rights as youth delegates for the organization. Roy Wilkins, Vernon Jordan, Andrew Young, Patricia Harris, Thurgood Marshall, Ralph Bunche, and current NAACP Chairman of the Board Julian Bond as well as many others served their apprenticeships in the Association's Youth Councils and College Chapters.
“It is truly uplifting to see the Youth and College Division build upon the foundation laid by Juanita Jackson and other young people who, in the face of injustice, inspired a generation and fought a courageous struggle for equality,” said Bond.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
Contact: Leila McDowell Lmcdowell@naacpnet.org (202) 463-2940 ext 1005