As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re acknowledging a special group of people we are especially thankful to have at our side – our partners in the civil rights and social justice movement with whom we have powerful friendships with.
2018 was a pivotal year for NAACP, a year in which we made great strides and secured several victories for communities of color. Here’s a look at what we did with our friends this year:
In January, the NAACP and the Africa-America Institute announced a ground breaking partnership during the 49th NAACP Image Awards. The partnership focuses on the development and distribution of a curriculum designed to highlight the accomplishments, achievements and history of Africa and its Diaspora.
In February, we signed a partnership agreement with UN Women, the global champion for gender equality on February 13, 2018. The strategic partnership will enhance both organizations’ commitment to empower women by creating an environment of equity in which all women can exercise their human and civil rights. The partnership will further NAACP’s dedication to engaging with Africans and the African Diaspora.
In March, NAACP Youth and College Division, led by director Tiffany Dena Loftin, partnered with MTV, the longtime, respected broadcast channel for urban youth culture, to sponsor 17 busloads of youth from various cities to travel to the nation’s capital to participate in the March for Our Lives. The buses, included young NAACP members, youth from other organizations, noted music artists and others are originating from Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, Greensboro, NC, Laurinburg, NC, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Richmond, VA.
In April, NAACP joined in connecting civil rights legacies of the past and present with ‘I AM’ campaign, while saluting Memphis sanitation workers on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. NAACP leadership, current and former faith, labor and Civil Rights leaders, branch and youth members, activists, supporters and citizens alike came together to commemorate the icon.
In May, in response to the Senate vote to confirm Michael Brennan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District and President and CEO of the NAACP Derrick Johnson jointly denounced the Senate’s decision to abandon its longstanding deference to home-state senators and vote on a judicial nominee from Wisconsin over the objection of Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin.
In June, a broad coalition of leaders of national civil rights organizations released a letter to the National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell objecting to the NFL’s new rule censoring players’ peaceful protests during the national anthem of police violence against unarmed African Americans and other people of color.
In July, at the NAACP’s 109th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, the NAACP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. We were honored to welcome PACJA Co-Founders Mithika Mwenda who traveled from Kenya and Augustine Njamnshi who traveled from Cameroon, as they joined with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and Board Chairman Leon Russell in signing this historic agreement.
In August, on the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, student leaders from the March For Our Lives: Road To Change bus tour visited the NAACP headquarters to participate in an online voter registration and digital engagement event.
In September, 13 leading social justice organizations released a Call to Action issued by singer-songwriter and actor, John Legend, urging senators to #StopKavanaugh. The NAACP partnered with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, Color of Change, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Demos, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, UnidosUS, the National Urban League, and the Service Employees International Union to release the ad.
In October, NAACP announced partnerships with When We All Vote, National Bar Association, National Action Network, and National Pan-Hellenic Council Organizations.
And this month, the following leaders came together to deliver a message to voters: Civil Rights icon Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.; NAACP president and CEO, Derrick Johnson; National Urban League president, Marc Morial; NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund president and director-counsel, Sherrilyn Ifill; The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation president and CEO, Melanie Campbell; Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president and CEO, Vanita Gupta; UnidosUS president and CEO, Janet Murguia; Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president.
We have accomplished much as an organization, but by working with other strong allies in the movement, our potential is limitless and for this we are grateful.
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