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December 19, 2014
Contact: Rev. Andre’ D. Knight, President, (252) 544-2949
Rocky Mount NAACP Hosts the NC NAACP in a Town Hall Meeting to Discuss the KKK Social Media Posting
Rocky Mount, NC – The Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP announced today that it is scheduling a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, December 22nd at 7 p.m. in the OIC Auditorium at 402 E. Virginia Street to discuss the recent KKK social media posting by several Nash Central High School students. Rocky Mount Branch President Andre’ Knight stated, “The NAACP has heard the cries of children, parents and the community about the light manner in which the offensive Instagram posting initiated by Nash Central students has been taken by the Nash/Rocky Mount Schools. This forum is designed to do what Superintendent Anthony Jackson has asked the community to do, ‘help our students get through the stuff by being honest with them and most of all, showing them by our actions how to resolve conflict resolution appropriately.’”
Knight continued, “We are receiving numerous complaints from students and their families that black children are being disciplined if they even mention the incident while these young girls who posted clear images of the worst expression of hate in our country have received protection from the schools. If this is true, this is the time to openly and publicly discuss what has and is taking place. Rev. Dr. William Barber, the NC NAACP President, will lead the discussion with the community in order to facilitate the ‘teachable moment’ that the Nash/Rocky Mount Schools would like our community to engage in and help place into perspective the seriousness of the error of tolerance towards hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan that have an active, violent and widespread presence in America and in the greater Rocky Mount region.”
President Knight concluded that, “It is clear throughout numerous examples that we see in the media and in attitudes from many everyday citizens, that racial intolerance is becoming socially acceptable again. The NAACP was created to address that attitude and end the acts of violence and discrimination that come as a result. Clearly, our job is not done. This forum provides an opportunity for Nash/Rocky Mount School Board members, the Superintendent and his administration, staff and all parents and students throughout this school system and others to join us on Monday to have a conversation that is vital and to help us develop our approach and plan moving forward. We will embrace the young girls and their families who initiated this offense if they are willing to publicly step forward and offer sincere apologies to the entire community. If not, we will discuss the next steps that our leader, Rev. Dr. Barber will ask us to make.”
Note: I am a Life Fully Paid Member NAACP Rocky Mount Branch and I support this meeting. Read the Mission Statement for the NAACP and don’t listen to Ignant Racist White Folks and Ignant Safe Negroes who say otherwise. They can twist the mission all the want but the mission statement stands and we will carry out the mission.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 26, 2012
Contacts: Reuben Blackwell, President (252) 544-3343
Charles Washington, Director of Training & Education (252) 955-0763
OIC HONORS 2012 GRADUATES
Rocky Mount, NC – Graduation exercises for GED students Rocky Mount OIC will be held on Thursday, June 28th at 6 p.m. in the historic Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium on 402 E. Virginia Street. This year, 40 students will receive credentials in recognition of their determination and their successful completion of the state requirements pertaining to the general educational diploma. Genotre J. Penny-Boone, OIC Board Chair, stated that “we want to honor the hard work our students achieved and encourage them to continue on to more and greater successes.”
Charles Washington, Director of Education & Training, emphasized that “our team of educators, case managers, and business development specialists create a quality learning environment for all our students.” OIC will again recognize several students who have received Career Readiness Certificates (CRC) as well as those who have completed the Employability Skills/Career Awareness training via an on-line course offering. “The CRC provides graduates with a running start with employers who see that their potential candidates have great work ethics and that they understand how to bring value to their companies,” commented Washington.
Rochelle Riley, who writes weekly about social, political and cultural issues for the Detroit Free Press, is this year’s commencement speaker. Ms. Riley has won many state and national honors, including Four Michigan Associated Press Editorial Association Awards for best column writing and the 2011 Salute to Excellence Award for Best Column Writing from the National Association of Black Journalists. She was the 2011 recipient of the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award for community service from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
“The OIC approach to learning is holistic. Our case management team works hand in hand with our educators and job placement staff to ensure that we present every possible opportunity to our students for success in the classroom and in the career of their choice,” stated Reuben Blackwell, President & CEO. “For us, graduation means more than a completed course of work. It opens the beginning of a life of self-sufficiency and dignity for our students and their families.”
Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 7, 2012:
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children
Contact: Mark Dorosin, UNC Center for Civil Rights: 919-225-3809/919-843-7986
On May 7, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Everett et al. v. Pitt County Board of Education affirming the efforts of African American parents and community members to stop Pitt County Schools from implementing its 2011-12 student reassignment. The UNC Center for Civil Rights represents the Pitt Coalition for Educating Black Children and several individual parents of children attending Pitt County Schools.
“This is a great victory for the people,” said Mark Dorosin, Managing Attorney at the Center. “The court affirmed what decades of desegregation law, from Brown vs. Board of Ed. to the present, require: that a school district which remains under a desegregation order has an affirmative duty to eliminate the vestiges of racial discrimination, and until the court rules that the district has fulfilled that duty, current racial disparities are presumed to be the result of the past unconstitutional conduct.”
In the 1960s, a federal district court found that Pitt County Schools was operating a racially segregated school system in violation of students’ constitutional rights. The court approved desegregation plans designed to “eliminate the racial identity” of the schools and administratively closed the case. In 2008, the case was reactivated when a group of white parents filed a complaint with the Department of Justice claiming that PCS’ use of race in its 2006-2007 student assignment policy discriminated against their children. The Center then intervened on behalf of the Coalition and African Americana parents. In 2009, the parties reached a settlement agreement approving the race-conscious assignment policy. At that time, the district court found that the district still had not remedied the vestiges of race discrimination and ordered the parties to work together toward “eliminating the vestiges of past discrimination to the extent practicable.” The parties were also ordered to report back to the court in December 2012.
This appeal challenged PCS’s 2011-2012 Assignment Plan, which focused on: 1) school proximity; 2) building capacity; 3) academic proficiency; and 4) an impact area of 14 out of 36 schools. Despite the Coalition’s push for the plan which would yield the best diversity and academic proficiency, PCS selected the plan that increased or ignored racial isolation in several schools and opened a brand new school, Lakeforest Elementary, as a high-minority, low performing school. In April 2011, the Plaintiffs filed a motion to stop the reassignment, arguing it would violate the active desegregation order and in fact resegregate students. In August 2011, the district court refused to hold the district to its affirmative duty to complete the integration of its schools and denied the motion. Plaintiffs appealed to the Fourth Circuit.
The Court of Appeals held that the district court “committed legal error by failing to apply, and requiring the School Board to rebut, a presumption that any racial disparities in the 2011-2012 Assignment Plan resulted from the School Board’s prior unconstitutional conduct in operating a racially segregated school district before 1970.” The court affirmed that School Board retained its affirmative duty to “whatever steps might be necessary to convert to a unitary system,” and emphasized that “in the decades following the issuance of Teel and Edwards [the original desegregation orders in the case], the School Board has yet to discharge this obligation and demonstrate to the district court its attainment of unitary status.” The court also noted that the district court’s request for the parties to submit “a report” is “not at all a clear indication that the district court will fully and finally resolve the issue of unitary status in December 2012.”
The Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s August 2011 decision, and remanded the case back to the district court for “reconsideration and, if appropriate, further development of the record,” with instruction that the burden is on the School Board to establish that the 2011-2012 Assignment Plan moves the district toward unitary status. “We will continue to stand up for our children,” said Melissa Grimes, a named plaintiff and elected officer of the Coalition. “It is so good to have the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals stand up for them with us today.”
April 17, 2012
Contact: Rev. Andre’ D. Knight, President, (252) 544-2949
NAACP Hosts Stop the Violence Forum
Rocky Mount, NC – The Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP, in conjunction with area ministers, will host a discussion with local community leaders. “Our community has been devastated by recent events of youth and gang violence. While we know that these brutal slayings do not solely define our community, we are all impacted by the loss of young men that will never have the chance to contribute to society” Andre’ Knight, President of the Rocky Mount Branch said. “Our community wants to do more than mourn. We want to reverse the trend and challenge the mindset that it is okay for anyone to gun down our citizens for any reason.”
The Stop the Violence Forum will be held in the OIC Auditorium located at 402 E. Virginia Street at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19th. Joining President Knight will be guest panelists Rev. James Gailliard, Senior Pastor of Word Tabernacle Church; Bishop Sheldon Daniels, Senior Pastor of Greater Joy Baptist Church; Charlie Davis, noted local retired educator; Curtis Walker, aka “C Dub”, local media and entertainment professional and Trooper Clee Atkinson with the NC Highway Patrol. Host and moderator for the event, Reuben Blackwell, Education Chair for the Rocky Mount Branch added, “We want to have a frank and in-depth discussion about what is not working in our community, who we need to engage to move us forward and how to begin to support strategies that are working.” Area youth have also been invited to participate in the panel discussion.
Andre’ Knight commented, “This forum is for the person who wants to see the violence end and willing to do something about it. We need our young people to come and be willing to talk with us. We need the gang bangers to be there. We need parents and family members who have lost their children or who are afraid that they might lose their children to come. We need business and church leaders to come and be willing to do something we’ve never done before so we can rescue and redeem our future. We need everyone to be concerned and to attend. ”
The Forum is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.
Contact: Kezmiché "Kim" Atterbury
Mobile: (202) 465.5125
Butterfield Disappointed USDA Will Close FSA Offices and Limit Access to Underserved Populations
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) expressed disappointment with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement Monday to move forward with the closures of more than 100 Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices, including three in Butterfield’s congressional district. Earlier this month, Butterfield wrote a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to reconsider the proposal to close FSA offices in Chowan, Hertford, and Warren counties due to the high volume of farmers who rely on their services.
“These offices are indispensable to thousands of farmers in my district,” said Butterfield. “While I understand the agency must find ways to reduce spending, shuttering FSA offices in eastern North Carolina will only limit access to USDA services for underserved populations. I am certain that there is a better solution.”
Yesterday afternoon Secretary Vilsack informed Congress that in 90 days he will approve the closures of 259 domestic offices, facilities and labs, including 131 FSA offices, and seven foreign offices.
The Congressman insists that the current timeframe is insufficient notice to close the offices and guarantee that all farmers in the FSA system are properly notified of the upcoming changes. Butterfield also said he urges Secretary Vilsack to ensure that all FSA employees affected by the announced closures will not be laid off, and instead given the option of being reassigned to a nearby office.