Brockton Area Branch NAACP

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Our Mission: To ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial discrimination.


Welcome to our July Newsletter!

Message from the President


A Moment of Reflection


I recently returned from the 113th National NAACP Convention in Atlantic City. If you have not attended a convention, perhaps you should. You will see what the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the oldest, largest and boldest civil rights organization in the nation is all about. The theme this year was This is Power!  There were powerful speakers there like Vice President Kamala Harris.  Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, received the NAACP's highest award, the prestigious Spingarn Medal. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu closed us out by welcoming everyone to Boston next year. The date starting July 31, 2023.


To reflect: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People cannot be denied.


The real story of the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization lies in the hearts and minds of all those who refused to stand idly while race prejudice tarnished our nation. From bold investigations of mob brutality and protests of mass murders to testimony before congressional committees on the vicious tactics used to bar African Americans from the ballot box, it was the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that saved lives and laid the foundation upon which our fight for racial justice and equity is built.


While much of NAACP history is chronicled in books, articles, pamphlets, and magazines, the true movement lies in the faces of the multiracial, multigenerational army of ordinary people who united to awaken the consciousness of a people and a nation. With such a powerful membership base, all 2,200 chapters of the Association continue to persevere. Together, we will remain vigilant in our mission until the promise of America is made real for all. 

 

I am proud to be a member!


-Phyllis Ellis

WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING

July 9, 2022 - Social Justice Tween Book Club


July 9, 2022, the third meeting led by Professors Aminah Pilgrim and Willie Wilson discussed Clean Getaway by Nic Stone. A white grandma takes her mixed-race grandson, William “Scoob” Lamar, on a trip through the South during the 1960’s. Professor Willie Wilson began by asking the students about the surprises in this novel. Grandma is not exactly what you would expect. In fact one of the mothers attending the discussion volunteered that almost everyone has secrets in their lives, even grandmas!


Professor Pilgrim asked them about the Green Book which guided African American families traveling in the United States as to places where they would be welcome, motels and hotels often owned by African Americans. She referred to Hidden Figures whose example of separate toilet facilities created difficulties in working at NASA for African Americans. “How would that make you feel?” she asked.


One of my former co-workers shared with me his own experience as a Little League baseball player going to New Hampshire with the team, but not allowed to stay in the same hotel. Mayor Sullivan accompanied him and stayed with him, demonstrating his support of the young player and his contempt for this practice of discrimination.


The younger students read Justice Makes a Difference by Artika Tyner and Jacklyn Milton for the July 9 meeting, but that group did not attend.


Professor Pilgrim asked the book members to think about their own experiences with unfair behavior. Some students felt comfortable about sharing, to which the group snapped their fingers to support the students. All of them wrote some words about it and drew illustrations. Again, the entire room snapped their fingers to support those students who shared their opinions and illustrations.


Samiyah shared her letter to President Bidden and his response to her. Samiyah attends the Georges Elementary School. Samiyah expressed her concerns about animals endangered by pollution and climate change.


She was a fourth grader but will enter fifth grade this fall. Georges is one of the many elementary schools Altrusa of Plymouth County served by providing pencils and erasers for the fourth graders taking MCAS tests some years ago, with a grant from Foundation written by Susannah Leslie.

Bonds between the students and professors have strengthened. The newness of a book discussion has now become a more comfortable space.


-Lucia Shannon

July 14-17, 2022- ACT-SO Competition - Gold Medal Won


The NAACP National ACT-SO Competition was held on July 15 in Atlantic City. We had three talented students representing our branch. Hannah Baptiste (Poetry Performance); Nevaeh DeJesus (Poetry Written) and Yvangi Jacques (Physics).  We are so very proud of them and congratulate them on their accomplishments. 


The students expressed their appreciation and the excitement of it all. They had a chance to interact with other students and make friends. The students attended valuable workshops. The competition was a great experience that the students will always remember.


The 2023 NAACP National ACT-SO Competition will be held in Boston next year.  I encourage all the talented students to compete. Please visit our website for important ACT-SO information at naacp-brocktonbranch.org


ACT-SO is a stepping stone to greatness! If you believe it - you can achieve it!

ABOUT THE ACT-SO STUDENTS

Yvangi Jacques


Yvangi won a Gold medal for his Physics project, Evaluating Piezoelectricity as a Source of Energy

for Mobile Device Charging.  Congratulations!


In addition to winning a Gold Medal, Yvangi also received $2000, an IPad, AirPods and an Oculus Quest 2, a virtual reality headset!


Yvangi is a 15-year-old Sophomore at Avon Middle High School in Avon, Massachusetts, representing the ACT-SO Brockton Area Branch NAACP. He has many accomplishments. He received the John F. Kennedy Make A Difference Award for his Community Service Project, “Songs for Seniors.” Additionally, he is part of a competitive swim team. He is also in his school’s drama club and a member of the National Honor Society.


Yvangi has a passion for STEM. Last year he participated in the ACT-SO National Competition for his project on UV radiation in the Physics category. While he did not win last year, unfortunately, the experience has lit a fire in him to return for his second year in the ACT-SO National Competition with another project in the Physics category.


Overall, Yvangi is very passionate and confident and is happy to represent the Brockton Area Branch NAACP in the ACT-SO National Competition.


His parents were there to join in the excitement and celebration.


Well done Yvangi!  We look forward to you competing next year.

Hannah Baptiste


Hannah did not receive a medal for her poetry performance. However, Hannah received a $10,000 scholarship from Lancome Write Her Future Scholarship contest. She also received VIP Seating at the Award Ceremony and stood on stage with Lupita Nyong'o.


Hannah will be attending Suffolk University in the fall. She has been writing poetry since middle school and enjoys all forms of poetry, especially spoken word poetry. She was a finalist for the Brockton Youth Poet Laureate position. She is the Editor of the school yearbook, the President of Creative Writing Club, and a Co-Leader in the Art Club where she leads a group to develop art installations for Attleboro Art Museum's High Art Shows. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and playing video games with her friends.


Hannah's poem was entitled


Harvest Over Humanity

 

Excerpts from her poem


In this class.

We are tired of finding new ways to teach the same lesson,

Managing to carve new units from the stone monuments

Littering the land like gravestones.

In this year's lesson plan.

We learn that America's classrooms extend beyond Its brick and mortar walls.

We see that the liberty tree is dying and

Will ton into compost beneath our eyes.


First Quarter,

We learn that fractions don’t just exist in math class.

We learn about how fractions pollute the earth,

Harvest over humanity, power over peace, genocide over goodwill,

With their toxic fumes giving everyone blurred vision.

To hide how

We have money for wars,

But not for our streets that need to be restored


Fourth Quarter,

We learn that promises are zip ties meant to temporarily restrain us,

Long enough to lose a pulse for the issues that matter to us.

As student loan repayments are delayed but never canceled.

As we summarize the year in preparation for our final exam,

This phrase wraps around our necks like a noose:

Money will always be valued over human life.

One day I hope that the histoiy books will be rewritten.


After learning that fractions don’t just exist in math class,

I know the Dead Sea isn’t the lowest place in this world.

It is the soles of tire shoes of the people who let us twist our own necks.

For the benefit of a countiy that drowns us in their desires.

.

Nevaeh DeJesus


Nevaeh's written poetry entitled "I Am No Longer the Prisoner"  did not win a medal but it was so powerful that it brought the judges to tears.


Nevaeh is a Junior at Lowell High School in Lowell, Massachusetts. She is involved with the Black Unity Club, Anti-Bias Club, Gear Up, and Early College programs at her school. Her plan is to attend Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, however she won’t be officially

applying for colleges until the Fall of 2022.


In her spare time, she likes writing poetry and going to hip hop dance class. Nevaeh also works between sixteen and twenty hours a week as a cashier at a local grocery store. Nevaeh is the middle child of three children in her family. As an older sibling, Nevaeh enjoys playing with

and teaching new things to her younger sister who is one years old.


Nevaeh has a youth membership with the Brockton NAACP.

________________

Nevaeh's Poem


I Am No Longer the Prisoner

 

This entire time, I thought of you as a monster

A manipulator

An abuser

A warden

But at this moment,

I begin to pack all my clothes and my favorite panda bear

My bear tells a story in it’s not so white fur from years of the times I was once innocent

The story of the happy little girl I once was

The little girl who was outspoken, joyful, confident

 

Before your tyrant behavior

Now your manipulation begins to seep through the fur of my flesh

Now as I attempt to run away for the third time,

I realized, I am not any better than you

There are pieces of you scattered in every part of me

It's not my fault my body refuses to remove you

You see, I cling onto you for comfort

 

I wrap myself up in you and use you as the thing I know my heart will always find familiar,

The father figure I’ve always dreamed of

The person who would call me their little princess

Someone

Just anyone

To fill the empty void of someone to call

I still come back to you, text and call, time after time, not because I have love for you

But, because I don’t want to start over with someone new

I don’t want someone else to try and fill the shoes you tried on for years

I don't want another you

For fear that he will hurt me the same way you did

You indeed are the monster

You’ve always been the devil playing dress up


July 28, 2022- Black Minds Matter


The Political Action Committee (“PAC”) of the Brockton Area Branch NAACP welcomed five distinguished speakers as it hosted its “Black Minds Matter” panel to discuss mental health challenges, barriers, and stigmas in the African American and BIPOC community. Panelists provided their insight on the intersectionality of intimate partner violence and mental health for the BIPOC community, while also touching on the challenges to accessing services that are tailored to members of the BIOPC community. In addition, panelists provided listeners with their viewpoint of why the taboo of reaching out for help as it relates to mental health exists in the African American community, and some ways in which we can overcome these challenges and stress the importance of the understanding that it is okay to not be okay.


The event was moderated by PAC Chair, Dr. Patricia Jackson, and joined on the panel were Keith Mascoll, founder of The Triggered Project, Sasha Heggie-Jackson, Founder and Vice President of The Four18 Group, Shaquera Robinson, CEO of Shaquera’s Story, Lovern Gordon, Founder of Love Life Now Foundation, Inc., and Sara Keough, Director of Family Violence Offender Services for Family and Community Resources, Inc.


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP was pleased to partner with Family & Community Resources, Inc on this event.

July 30, 2022 -The Protocol of Safety......


Saturday afternoon at the library with Trooper Melinda Brown was informative and exciting. The audience was active and was both attentive and curious about this young black woman who started off as a Correctional Officer but is now a State Trooper. Trooper Brown was an effective and warm speaker taking us on a journey of a law enforcement officer and the various human and even funny stories of Trooper Brown’s life. She presented 7 basic behaviors that young people or for that matter, anybody should be aware of in their encounters with law enforcement. Of the 7 or so, Trooper Brown insisted that the three major ones are to give respect to the officer and the process, communicate clearly your concerns, and make sure one’s hands are in view at all times when dealing with officers. Trooper Brown was patient and gracious to the many questions that were asked of her this afternoon and the audience was just plain curious to hear and talk to one of the few black women law enforcement officers in Massachusetts. Trooper Brown’s engaging, detailed, informative talk gave us a worthwhile afternoon at the Brockton Public Library.  


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP was pleased to host this event with the Brockton Library.  We look forward to another later in the year.


DID YOU KNOW

There is a Prostate Cancer Equity Program in Massachusetts?


Please review a new initiative: Prostate Cancer Equity Program in Massachusetts.


This program is being launched by AdMeTech Foundation, in partnership with leading experts at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass General Hospital, and other clinical organizations.


The mission of this program is to save lives, deliver high-quality care and eliminate health inequalities.


Prostate cancer, striking 1 in 8 American men, is the most common and the second most lethal male cancer.


Any Massachusetts man 40 and older is welcome to take part. The program’s priority focus is on Black, African American, Hispanic and Latino men, who are at even higher risk of the disease, delayed diagnosis, poor quality care, and death.

GET INVOLVED

The Brockton Area Branch NAACP is extremely busy.  If you would like to join our organization and become a member of any of the active commitees, please contact: presidentphyllis@naacp-brocktonbranch.org

 

Committees

  • ACT-SO - The Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological & Scientific Olympics mentoring program for high school students. With ACT-SO, the NAACP is providing an instrument through which African-American youth are encouraged and inspired toward excellence in academic and cultural pursuits while benefiting from the maximum support of their communities;
  • Education - The Committee on Education shall: (1) seek to eliminate segregation and other discriminatory practices in public education; (2) study local educational conditions affecting minority groups; (3) investigate the public school system and school zoning; (4) familiarize itself with textbook material there from which racially derogatory; (5) seek to stimulate school attendance; (6) keep informed of school conditions and strive to correct abuses where found; (7) investigate the effects of standardized and high stakes testing practices; (8) teacher certification; (9) promote parental involvement in education; and (10) aim to be a center of popular education on the race question and on the work of the Association.
  • Health - The Health Committee shall: (1) work to promote, protect and maintain the health of African Americans; (2) assess the health needs of the community; (3) advocate for equal access to health education, care, treatment and research for all Americans; (4) sponsor health-related activities such as health forums, fairs and workshops highlighting issues of importance to people of color; and (5) support health initiatives of the Association
  • Housing - The Committee on Housing shall:) (1) study housing conditions in the local community; (2) receive and seek to address complaints of discrimination; (3) oppose all restrictive practices whether public or private; and (4) disseminate information and render such other assistance which may eliminate discrimination in housing.
  • Legal Redress - The Legal Redress Committee shall: (1) investigate all cases reported to it; (2) supervise all litigation in which the Unit is interested; and (3) keep the National Office and the Branch informed on the progress of every case. It shall not give general legal advice.
  • Political Action - The Political Action Committee shall: (1) seek to increase registration and voting; (2) work for the enactment of municipal, state and federal legislation designed to improve the educational, political and economic status of minority groups; (3) seek the repeal of racially discriminatory legislation; (4) work to improve the administration of justice; (5) work to secure equal enforcement of the law; and (6) keep the National Office and the Unit informed of all proposed legislation which affects minority groups. The Committee shall be nonpartisan and shall not endorse candidates for public office
  • WIN (Women in NAACP) WIN shall address within the framework of the NAACP, civil rights issues affecting women and children and shall carry out other civil and cultural activities to enhance membership and provide financial support to the Branch. The purpose WIN is (1) to enhance the leadership role of women; (2) to serve as an advocacy vehicle to address the social, economic, political, educational, health and welfare issues affecting women; (3) to advocate for the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development of children and (4) to support the policies as well as the on-going mission and vision of the NAACP. 
UPCOMING EVENTS

Date

Event

August 6, 2022 - In Person and Virtual

Tween Justice Book Club 

August 25, 2022 - In Person

Let's debate: Candidates Shirley Asack, Rita Mendes and Sticker Candidate Fred Fontaine

August 27, 2022 - In Person

Adult book Club - brockton Library, 1pm-230pm


 


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Brockton Area Branch NAACP

PO Box 1535

Brockton, MA 02303

(508)587-0502


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