Message From The President
Welcome to the NAACP Providence Branch’s 103nd Anniversary Freedom Fund Breakfast, appropriately themed “Our Lives Matter! Our Votes Matter!” On behalf of the branch, I want to express our deep gratitude to our sponsors, life members, members, and all of you in attendance today for your continued support
On this, our 103rd year, the branch is extremely proud and fortunate to have Jordan Seaberry our keynote speaker. Mr. Seaberry is the Victims Unit Coordinator for the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non Violence.
Now in my sixth year as president, the NAACP Providence Branch continues to be a respected community advocate and has established strong partnerships with many community groups.
Our general body meetings, open to the public, are held every third Thursday of the month, year round, at 6pm at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, 883 Eddy Street, Providence. Our office is located, next door, at 881 Eddy Street.
Since last year’s Freedom Fund Dinner, our focus has continued to be Youth Empowerment. We are proud to say that our Youth Council, one of the most vibrant in New England, has grown and its activities have broadened. Recently, the Youth Council participated in the Democracy Awakening Rally in Washington, DC , delivered clean water to the residents of Flint, Michigan, and have led the branch in a Voter Registration Drive. Last month, the chapter at E Cubed High School staged a Call to Action Rally with the entire student body, faculty and staff. We strongly believe that exposure equals empowerment.
Last year, I mentioned that the branch was working to establish College and High School Divisions and as part of a branch sustainability strategy. Today, I am proud to announce that we have established a College Chapter at Brown University, a high school chapter at Providence’s E-Cubed Academy and are very close to having nationally sanctioned Chapters at Providence College and Classical high school. Discussion of possible new Chapters at Bryant University and Roger Williams University are underway. Having the most significant youth chapters in the country is the branch’s goal!
Unfortunately, racial discrimination and other complaints continue to come to the branch for redress. Our Legal Redress Committee continues to work diligently to help those who view us as a “voice for the voiceless.” Recently after initial resistance from the town, we assisted the King’s Tabernacle Church in their move to Johnston. The branch is currently working very closely with Providence College to bring racial harmony to that campus.
Equal employment is part of the branch’s mission and over the past year, we have participated in several police and fire recruitment drives.
The branch continues to offer an employment link on our website. This initiative enables employers to list job postings and job seekers to list their resumes and cover letters. Employers are strongly encouraged to use this resource to tap a previously untapped skill source.
The branch was and is involved in many issues: the School Suspension bill, the legalization of marijuana, responsible gun control and a black major for the Providence Police Department. body cameras, and command officers of color for the Rhode Island State Police.
In conclusion, I want to thank Paul Malaba, our 2015 Freedom Fund Banquet Chair, consultant Ann Clanton and committee members Susan Rezendes, Elsa Dure and Elmer Pina for their work in making this banquet a success