Fairfax County NAACP
News for You 
August 2017
In this Issue:

  • July Membership Meeting Minutes 
  • School Board Candidate Forum/Membership Meeting - Aug 12
  • J.E.B. Stuart Name Change 
  • A Convention to Remember
  • Meet Nathnael Alazar, President of the Youth Council
  • County Report Card
  • Cops vs Kids Basketball Game
  • Minority Parent Participation Survey
  • Discrimination Against African American Teachers
  • Committee Spotlight
  • Upcoming Events
 
SPECIAL ELECTION - School Board At-Large

On August 29, Fairfax County will hold a special election to fill the vacant at-large seat on the School Board. So far, the candidates that will appear on the August 29th ballot are below. Fairfax NAACP invited all four candidates to complete a questionnaire to highlight their solutions to minority concerns. Click on each candidate's name to read their responses

We will also be hosting a candidate forum on August 12th at First Baptist Church in Vienna (details in Upcoming Events section below). This forum will serve as the August membership meeting. Sandra Allen, Karen Keys-Gamarra, and Michael Owens have accepted the invitation to participate.

Absentee Voting has begun. If you plan on being outside of Fairfax County, working emergency services, have a medical condition that may restrict your mobility or ability to stand for an extended period of time, pregnant or any one of the remaining 19 reasons for In-Person Absentee Voting, you can cast your ballot at the Fairfax County Government Center TODAY.

Voter turnout expected to be low, so a few dozen votes could make all the difference. Unfortunately minority communities tend not to vote in high numbers for off-cycle elections such as this; but let's change that trend this election. “Oftentimes a lower turnout election is going to feature a wealthier and whiter electorate,” said Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “But if the political energy of the moment is particularly high, which I would say it is right now, it could potentially go a different way.” (Center View Press) Show up and make your voice heard! 

For more information and to check your registration status click here
.

No More J.E.B. Stuart High School!!

After two long years of intense advocacy, on July 27, the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Board voted to change the name of J.E.B Stuart High School no later than the start of the 2019 school year.  

The resolution was approved by a vote of 7 -2 with two abstentions.  Voting yes were Sandy Evans, Pat Hynes, Ilryong Moon, Jane Strauss, Dalia Palchik, Ryan McElveen, Karen Corbett Sanders.  Voting no were Elizabeth Schultz, Tom Wilson.  Megan McLaughlin, Tamara Derenak Koufax abstained.

Read the full resolution here.
 
The movement to change the name was conceived in the spring of 2015 by five students at the high school: Marley Finley, Lidia Amanuele, Anna Rowan, Abbe Conde, and Cassie Marcotty.  The vote to change the name of the school came after more than two years of advocacy by a coalition of students, parents, community members, alumni of the school and community organizations organized and led by the Fairfax County NAACP.  

The new Division Superintendent of FCPS, Dr. Scott Brabrand, is moving quickly to implement the change.  He has scheduled two meetings to engage the community in the selection of a new name for the school.
 
An open public meeting will be held on Saturday, September 9, at 10 a.m., at J.E.B. Stuart High School to gather names for consideration along with the opportunity for presentations, questions, and discussion. 
 
Voting for the school name will be limited to those participants residing in the school’s attendance area and a weighted point system will be used to determine the top three choices. Voting will take place on Saturday, September 16, at J.E.B. Stuart High School and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We can be proud and thankful for the success of everyone who helped to change the name.  However, our advocacy is not finished.
We must continue to work to assure that the new name meets the criteria spelled out in the motion.  

To commemorate this historic achievement, we will be hosting a get together at Dogfish Head Alehouse located at 6220 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044, from 3PM to 6PM, Saturday August 19th. RSVP here

2017 National Convention: A Convention to Remember
The NAACP successfully concluded its 108th national convention in Baltimore last month. The Association reinforced its ongoing commitment to the pursuit of full equality to thousands of members, staff, supporters and partners.

The robust schedule of well-attended seminars, workshops and panel discussions featured such notables as former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Rev. William Barber, actor-activist Danny Glover, Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, author and TV show host Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, academic Michael Eric Dyson and many others.

On of the highlights of the conference was the appointment of Derrick Johnson as the interim president and CEO of the organization. “I am thrilled to announce that my friend and colleague Derrick Johnson has been appointed to interim president and CEO. I could not think of a better, more battle-tested or more qualified individual to guide the NAACP through this transition period,” said Leon Russell, Board Chairman of the NAACP. 

Branch Secretary, Mike O'Brien served as a delegate for Fairfax NAACP. To read his full report, click here .

For more information click here.
Meet Nathnael Alazar, President of the Youth Council
Last month Nathnael Alazar was appointed to lead the rebuilding of the Fairfax County NAACP Youth Council. Nathnael is the proud son of two Eritrean immigrants. He attends Robert E. Lee High School where he is the president of the school’s National Honor Society and Science Honor Society and the debate team captain. Nathnael's commitment to the NAACP extends beyond the County branch's Youth Council, as he also founded and serves as the president of the Lee High School NAACP Chapter - which also happens to be the first high school NAACP chapter in the county. 

A self-described political junkie, Nathnael is committed to activism in order to improve the lives of all citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. He has interned on political campaigns in the Virginia House of Delegates and in career-related work in the Fairfax County Government, running for class office at his high school, and taking on thrilling political programs such as Virginia Boys State. Nathnael hopes to continue his love for politics and policy by majoring in political science or international affairs and minoring in African American studies at Princeton University in the fall of 2018.

Under Nathnael's leadership the Fairfax County NAACP Youth Council is sure to live up to its slogan "Redefining the struggle, while forging tomorrow's leaders."

All youth 17 and under are welcome to join the Youth Council. Membership is $10 per year. To join click here; and to learn more about their upcoming plans email Shareem, our Youth Council Advisor at YouthCouncil@fairfaxnaacp.org
2017 Fairfax County NAACP Report Card
At the beginning of the year, we published our 2017-2018 Advocacy Agenda which highlighted our organization’s priorities. Our agenda was intended to challenge complacency in the school system, champion criminal justice reform, and encourage economic development and job growth in minority neighborhoods here in Fairfax County. Since that time our Political Action, Criminal Justice, Economic Development, and Education Committees have  been monitoring the actions of Fairfax County leaders to evaluate their responsiveness to our concerns. 

As a follow-up, we will be publishing our 2017 Report Card during the first week in September that will indicate how well we feel each member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, School Board, Police Chief, and Sheriff has performed against that agenda. The issues that will be evaluated will be:  Criminal Justice, Education, Immigration Enforcement, Economic Development, Affordable Housing, Accessible Transportation, and  Workforce Development.
    Cops vs. Kids Basketball Game
The inaugural Cops vs Kids ( Blue and Gold ) Basketball game was a huge success. All the participants - children and adults - had a great time. Most importantly, as Chairman Bulova alluded to, these types of events have a deeper purpose, which is to build trust and communication between the citizens of Fairfax and law enforcement.

Chairman Bulova, Chief Roessler and members of the FCPD also presented information to keep our kids safe, and answered questions about ongoing police reform and citizen accountability efforts. 

Thank you Chairman Bulova, Chief Roessler, Supervisor Smith, Ms. Esperanza and the staff of the James Lee Recreation center, and all the volunteers and Sponsors, The Washington Wizards, UFC Herndon, Gold's Gym Reston, Model's Sporting Goods Reston, Anthem BCBS Health Keepers Plus, and Cycle Bar Arlington for helping to make this event happen.
Lackluster minority participation negatively affects our ability to affect change and advocate for issues that impact minority children’s education. This survey is our attempt to understand the barriers to greater minority parent participation in Fairfax County Public School (FCPS). Only complete it if you are a parent of a child currently enrolled in FCPS, or was enrolled in a FCPS school in the last year.


Minority Parent Survey
Discrimination Against African American Teachers

We remain committed to the fight for meaningful reform and transparency in the way teachers are hired in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in light of the May George Mason University study that demonstrated that African American teacher applicants are being discriminated against even when they are more qualified than their white counterparts.

On August 22nd, President Annan will meet with the incoming FCPS Superintendent, Scott Brabrand and members of the School Board to discuss this issue and identify solutions to ensure this discrimination ends.

You can help by contacting the members of the Fairfax County School Board and letting them know that you want to see tangible reform that includes a timeline for implementation, and mechanisms to ensure greater transparency and accountability of the hiring process.  

Committee Spotlight - Political Action
The Political Action Committee (PAC) is the tip of the spear for the BranchThe mission of the Committee is to improve the efficiency and administration of social justice initiatives within the Branch, increase voter registration and participation and safeguard against voter suppression policies. The PAC also maintains awareness of current legislation and political trends, and advocates for changes that will impact local policies on a wide range of issues. 

To-date, the PAC, in coordination with the Criminal Justice and Education Committees hosted multiple events, to include: the Immigration Panel Discussion: How National Immigration Policies are Affecting us Locally; and a state-level  Candidate Forum for candidates appearing on the November ballot. The day consisted of candidate forums with gubernatorial, and Lt. Governor Candidates and a Meet and Greet with House of Delegates candidates. They are also the primary coordinators for the upcoming School Board Candidates Forum on August 12th.

The PAC is comprised of Republicans, Democrats as well as Independents, and we are committed to educating our membership of all the pertinent issues and viewpoints.  If you're interested in joining this dedicated team of overachievers, please email Karen Campblin at PoliticalAction@fairfaxnaacp.org. With your help we can do so much more.
Upcoming Events
  Have you joined the movement? 

Supporting Fairfax County NAACP makes a direct and positive impact in our community.
  Membership in the NAACP is just $30 a year. With so many issues facing our children and our community, we need your support. Your donations support our branch's advocacy, community programs, and operations. Our members spend countless hours fighting injustices. We could do so much more with your assistance. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to join along with donating to our branch.
   
Please Join and Donate TODAY!

  Fairfax NAACP Officers and Committee Chairs

Officers:

President
Kofi Annan
president@fairfaxnaacp.org

First Vice President
Karen Campblin
1stvp@fairfaxnaacp.org

Second Vice President   
Evelyn Spain
2ndvp@fairfaxnaacp.org

Third Vice President       
Dr. Iris Hunter
3rdvp@fairfaxnaacp.org

Treasurer
Michelle Leete
treasurer@fairfaxnaacp.org

Secretary
Michael O’Brien
secretary@fairfaxnaacp.org



Committee Chairs:

Communications, Press, and Publicity
George Alber
communications@fairfaxnaacp.org

Community Involvement
Evelyn Spain
community@fairfaxnaacp.org

Criminal Justice
Kofi Annan
justice@fairfaxnaacp.org

Economic Development
Karen Campblin
economicdev@fairfaxnaacp.org

Education
Ralph Cooper
education@fairfaxnaacp.org

Freedom Fund (Fundraising)
Michelle Leete and Evelyn Spain
freedomfund@fairfaxnaacp.org

Legal Redress
Dr. Lawrence Bussey
legalredress@fairfaxnaacp.org

Membership
Dr. Iris Hunter
membership@fairfaxnaacp.org

Political Action
Karen Campblin politicalaction@fairfaxnaacp.org

Veterans
Niki Zimmerman
veterans@fairfaxnaacp.org


Young Adult
Christina Cherry
youngadult@fairfaxnaacp.org

Youth Council
Shareem Annan
youthcouncil@fairfaxnaacp.org


Because Freedom isn't Free