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 June Newsletter!

Message from the President to the Graduates


Congratulations!! Class of 2022!


Graduation is a time to celebrate. It is a time for all the graduates to shine. You earned it! Revel in your accomplishments and the exciting things that await you. You are leaving high school but don't forget the reason you came. There will be risks and at times you will succeed and at times you will fail, but keep going.


"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it, if you can dream it, you can become it."

-William Arthur Ward


-Phyllis Ellis

WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING

May 31, 2022 - Scholarship Award Program 


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP was proud to offer three $1,000 scholarships to 3 deserving Brockton resident high school seniors this spring!  We held a wonderful celebration at the Brockton Public Library on May 31, 2022.to honor recipients and their families. We were delighted to have Mayor Sullivan, Senator Michael Brady, Superintendent Mike Thomas, Brockton High School Principal Cynthia Burns and Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Renee Heywood in attendance at the celebration. 


The $1000 scholarships were awarded to:

·      Hannah Baptiste, Graduate, Cardinal High School

·      Mamadu Tchamo, Graduate, Brockton High School

·      Millie Van, Graduate, Brockton High School


The requirements for receiving the scholarships were that they had to be residents of Brockton, high school seniors that would be attending college in the Fall 2022, had at least a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and write a 500 word essay. We received 19 applications from students that attend various schools, there was representation from Brockton High, Cardinal Spellman, Bridgewater-Rayhnam and Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High.


We look forward to offering more scholarships and working with a new group of students again!


Leona Martin, Chair


-photos by Janet Trask

June 6 - 2022 - Conversation with Former Mayoral Candidates


President Phyllis Ellis moderated a listening session put on by the Brockton Public Library and the Brockton Citizens Committee for Reform. The listening session was part three of the listening session on Brockton’s mayor term length. Questions were asked on whether or not Brockton is ready for a 4-year term length and if 2 years is enough for a mayor to accomplish their agenda.

Panelists included former mayoral candidates:


  • Tina Cardoso
  • Jean Bradly Derenoncourt
  • Mark Lawton
  • Jimmy Pereira


The recording of the event will be available soon and posted to YouTube for those we were not able to attend.



-Courtney Henderson

Our Janet Trask

On June 8, I had the distinguished honor to introduce Janet Trask, who truly doesn't need an introduction, to speak about the Swedish immigrants who came to Brockton, at the Public Library's "My Brockton History Series."


Janet's father was an immigrant from Sweden who migrated to Brockton in search of a better life. She talked about the hardship of him traveling on a ship to get here and working in the shoe industry. Her father's story is the story of all of us.


-Jean Bradley Derenoncourt

It was a pleasure to see Janet put down her camera and give us a part of her Swedish history.   She is such a giving person.  We all learned a lot!

June 11, 2022 - 2nd Social Justice Tween Book Club


The second meeting led by Professors Aminah Pilgrim and Willie Wilson discussed The Troublemaker and the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. For the time being they did not discuss The Only Road due to its disturbing content, but they shall have read it by the end of the program.

The older book group members received new copies of 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. They will discuss this at the July 9 meeting.


The younger students are reading Justice Makes a Difference by Artika Tyner and Jacklyn Milton for the July 9 meeting.


Parents who attended this meeting introduced themselves and shared their points of origin, where they graduated from school, and some of the elementary schools they had attended. Professor Wilson knew many of the Boston schools. He shared his background as a teacher and as a school principal in Shrewsbury. He related that experience to the present Uvalde tragedy; when Columbine happened twenty-three years ago, his chief duty was to reassure parents and children that they were safe.


Professor Pilgrim followed his lead by asking the book members to think about their own safe place, write some words about it, and draw a picture. When they completed their assignment, they shared what they wrote and drew. All of the adults spoke of their own safe places. 


Snacks, fruit, and beverages aided the air of conviviality established for the children.


This is such a privilege to be a part of this venture with young students! The leaders and parents are so caring, the manner in which they approach and instruct these young people moves me.


-Lucia Shannon

Special Note:

Aminah Pilgrim and Willie Wilson spent extra time on Zoom with several of the kids in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting to help them process the tragedy in the light of social justice issues. 


-photos by Lucia Shannon

June 17 - Sickle Cell Anemia Blood Drive


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP held its 2nd blood drive focusing on sickle cell anemia at the Shaw Center on June 17.


Sickle cell is a red blood cell disorder. It is inherited. That means that it’s passed down the same way people get the color of their eyes, skin, and hair from their parents. For a child to inherit sickle cell, both parents need to carry the gene for it. There is no way to catch sickle cell and it is not contagious. You are born with it.


  • People of African descent make up 90% of the population with sickle cell in the United States
  • Sickle cell also affects people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP would like to thank all of the donors who registered.


Another blood drive is scheduled for September and it is our hope that more African Amerricans will register to donate because its your blood the Sickel Cell Warriors need the most.


photos by Janet Trask

A Special Thank You!


A special thank you Michelle Henson, Janet Trask, Dima Hendricks (a Sickle Cell Warrior) and Tony Branch for volunteering for this event. It made all the difference.

June 20 - Harry O. Bernard Annual Golf Tournament


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP held its annual Harry O. Bernard Golf Tournament at DW Fields on June 20.   The Golf Tournament was dedicated to Eugene Marrow, a former Brockton High School principal.


Eugene Marrow was a great educator and athlete who made his hometown proud for his achievements. Mr. Marrow was loved by so many Brockton students for the mentor and advisor he was to young people. 


All proceeds from this special golf tournament will go to ACT-SO, a year long competition for students in grades 9th to 12th. A local competition was held in April and three gold medal students will now be competing in the national competition on July 15 in Atlantic City. I am sure the money being raised for students would make Gene happy.


Thank you to the Golf Team Commitee. Stephen Bernard, Miles Jackson, Sydne Marrow, Robert Jenkins, our sponsors, and all the volunteers and golfers who made this event so successful.


-photos by Janet Trask

June 22 - Know Your Rights - Discipline Rights for Students


The Education and Legal Redress Committees for the Brockton Area Branch NAACP held a workshop titled, Parents and Students’ Discipline Rights which was presented by South Coastal Counties Legal Services & the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, Wednesday, June 22 at the Brockton Public Library. The presenters were Ashley Francisque, Senior Attorney at the Justice Center, Karen Michel, Legal Fellow at South Coastal, and Laura Perez-Landin, Legal Advocate at the Justice Center. The information was based upon disciplinary policies in the schools. 

 

The workshop was very informative. The presenters were able to answer our questions and engage us in some very relevant conversations. A few of the topics discussed included, protections that students have in the disciplinary process, types of school discipline and disciplining students with disabilities to name a few. 

 

We learned a great deal and we plan to have them come back in early Fall, 2022,

and possibly have a hybrid version of the presentation so parents can participate virtually if needed.

 

The Brockton Area Branch NAACP has a great partnership with these agencies and they are a great resource for families in Brockton and the surrounding areas. Hope to see more parents at the next workshop. You need to be informed so that you are able to advocate for your children!


-Leona Martin


-photos by Tony Branch

June 23 - The Crown Act Townhall


On Thursday, June 23, the Brockton Area Branch's Political Action Committee hosted a Town Hall that discussed the impact and implications of the Crown Act; a piece of legislation that bans discrimination against natural hairstyles in workplaces, schools, and public spaces. Leading the discussion was Ms. Denella Clark, Chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, and Ms. Brandy Fluker Oakley, Esq., State Representative for the 12th Suffolk District.


Ms. Clark and Ms. Fluker Oakley provided insight into the impact that the Crown Act has on the culture for African Americans, and also informed listeners on what it meant to them to provide testimony in support of the passing of this legislation. Audience members were encouraged to ask questions, and provide their own personal experiences with hair discrimination, while also participating in a conversation affirming that it’s okay to be unapologetically Black in America.


The event was moderated by Patricia Jackson, Chair of the the Political Action Committee.

GRANT MONEY

The Brockton Area Branch NAACP received a $25,000 grant last year from the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund. This year we received $10,000. The reason:


The New Commonwealth Fund recognizes the important work your organization has been doing over the last year. We hope to continue this partnership and are excited to invest $10,000 into NAACP Brockton. This is a one-time, general operating support grant. 


We look forward to continuing the work towards creating a more equitable Commonwealth.


The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund is a coalition of Black and Brown executives iMassachusetts who have come together to leverage our individual and collective power to work with community organizations and coalitions to address and eliminate systemic racism and racial inequity in our Commonwealth.


The Brockton Area Branch NAACP appreciates the recognition.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE PRESIDENT

President Ellis was presented the ATHENA Award at the 24th Annual Leadership Award luncheon on June 17 at the Thorny Lea Golf Club. The event was sponsored by the Metro South Chamber and Eastern Bank.


The award is given to an individual who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in reachig their full leadership potential. The ATHENA award is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women' organizations and universities.


I am so honored to be this year's ATHENA recipient and to be in the company of so many outstanding women who have received the award previously.  To me being nominated is an award.  A special thank you to the person who took the time to nominate me.  I am very appreciative - Phyllis Ellis


-photos by Metro South Chamber and Janet Trask



Visit our Website

The powerful words of Frederick Douglass still carry such relevance and meaning to our current world. 


We appreciate John Drusinskas holding The Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Association together during the Pandemic, and organizing this Group once again this year to read these precious words.


The Group cleaned the Garden beautifully, and it was a glorious day together in Downtown Brockton.


We thank all who read this document on Sunday, June 26,  especially in their native tongue, and even sign language!


We spent some sacred moments in The Garden reflecting on injustice in history and continuing until today. It was heartwarming to see young and old, and so many different nationalities represented in The Garden.  


We look forward to reading this famous passage from Frederic Douglass together again next year. 


-Janet Trask

photos by Janet Trask

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.


FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR BRANCH

Fun Fact:

The Brockton Area Branch NAACP has had a garden since 2019. The garden was made possible with a grant from the Brockton Cultural Council. Our garden celebrates certain crops and and vegetables that are representative of various cultures in the city.


It is presently located outside Champion High School but will be relocated to a new location shortly. Gardens always need that "special toucn" to maintain.


If you are interested in helping to maintain our garden, please contact presidentphyllis@naacp-brocktonbranch.org.


Fun Fact:

The Brockton Area Branch NAACP launched a cookbook in 2018 - A Taste of Culture. We wanted to celebrate cultural diversity through something we all love - food. The cookbook brings over 40 yummy recipies from Brockton residents, some you know. From Polish pierogi to African American oxtail, to sweet endings. There is something for everyone.


We have copies left. If you would like to purchase one, you may go to our website at naacp-brocktonbranh.org or email presidentphyllis@naacp-brocktonbranch.org. The price is $9.99.

LET'S SUPPORT EACH OTHER
UPCOMING EVENTS

There is a lot of activity in Brockton. Different organizations, besides the Brockton Area Branch, are hosting different events. The community needs to do a better job of supporting each other. Below are just a few events that are happening. Let's support!

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. 


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Brockton Area Branch NAACP

PO Box 1535

Brockton, MA 02303

(508)587-0502


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