Live From The NAACP Leadership 500: Financial Literacy To Super Districts, Leaders Speak Of Their Calls To Action
Realizing there is a discrepancy in quality of life is one thing, but actually solving the problem? That’s a whole other challenge. The NAACP Leadership 500 Opening Plenary Session this morning took on many issues that face today’s communities with passion, efficiency, and a thorough plan.
Montclair, NJ, president Thomas Reynolds spoke of the great financial divide between the black and white residents of his area and he found that a lot of this had to do with financial literacy. So he began running a series of workshops for his community: topics as simple as budgeting, college and career building, paying your taxes properly and repairing your credit to mortgages and the dangers of predatory lending, entrepreneurship, investing and wealth building.
For Boston, MA, President Michael Curry, his call to action was that “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table.” While 24% of Boston’s residents are black, most people of color live in surrounding areas like Dorchester and Roxbury. So his branch of the NAACP began knocking on doors in targeted precincts to get them the info to get out and vote. As a result, they worked to help with political redistricting and registered 400,000 people.
Brooklyn, NY, president and fellow TWIB co-host L. Joy Williams has made health initiatives her focus. With 2.5 million people living in Brooklyn — which if it was a city, would make it the fourth largest in the country — the issue, much like with financial literacy, is education. Starting programs like “Take Your Man to the Doctor Day” (what is it about men and doctors?) and diabetes awareness are key. Nutrition is also a game changer for Williams, as she explained, with more children having to fend for themselves for lunch and dinner, it’s important to give them the skills to make good choices. There has also been lots of time and effort rallying to save health centers and hospitals in the area that are closing due to lack of funding.
The NAACP, which has recently been criticized for being out of touch, is certainly making a case for its relevancy. Stay tuned for more reporting on the conference throughout the weekend.
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