Newark Delaware Branch NAACP, Our History Continues
Newark Branch NAACP gives tribute to the former long-time members Jane and Lit Mitchell who re-activated the Branch in 1992. They taught us the meaning of “shall do, not may do”, which places emphasis on “doing” the work of the Branch, which is a calling and is not optional.
The Newark Delaware Branch of the NAACP continues to be a voice for the greater Newark and New Castle communities in the struggle against injustice in housing, education, employment, and everywhere it arises in the social, economic and environmental arenas.
The Branch has a long history representing the community against discrimination, from the days when the Ku Klux Klan was a visible threat to more recent times when hatred and discrimination remain but may be less discernible.
We are engaged in improving our education system, including advancing educational equity and fair treatment of children within our public schools and in higher education. We are currently working with the University of Delaware to encourage them to utilize a portion of the substantial funds that they from the State of Delaware to develop programs for low-income and minority student retention. The University should be directed to increase recruitment of low-income and minority students, particularly targeting Delaware students.
We are the adult affiliate of the University of Delaware Chapter of the NAACP, which has been working hard to organize voting registration drives and community events, including a Hands Up Walk Out event on UD campus calling for equality in December.
We are active in the preservation of the black community in Newark and in their resistance gentrification and the influx of student housing in historic black neighborhoods.
We are involved in the fight for environmental justice and disparities in siting sources of pollution in low income and minority communities for the protection of health and quality of life, including the recent efforts to protect the community from the noxious odors at Peninsula Compost, and the redevelopment of Cleveland Heights to protect the community from contaminated land resulting from the site’s former use as a municipal landfill and wastewater treatment plant.
We advocate for healthy and safe communities. The recent redevelopment of the Cleveland Heights public housing project into the new low income housing development Alder Creek raised a historic concern with the safety of the point of ingress/egress on Cleveland Avenue. We are advocating for pedestrian and bicycle safety measures on Cleveland Avenue to improve accessibility, reduce the potential for accidents, and encourage healthy outdoor exercise.
We opposed the use of foreclosure/mortgage settlement funds to balance the state budget and presented an alternative 10-point plan for the administration of these by the State of Delaware to provide direct assistance to those who were directly harmed by the foreclosure crisis.
We sent a delegation to the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia this past July and participated in the policy-setting agenda for the national organization.
The Voting Rights Act recently turned 50 and we were proud to join our allies at the Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement, Common Cause of Delaware, and the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club in an event to celebrate this important legislation and to outline the challenges ahead to improve voting access.
In September we launched our 2016 Election voter registration campaign with emphasis in insuring that our youth are registered to vote and are able to make informed decisions in the upcoming Presidential election.
Each year for more than a decade we adopt a family and this past year was no exception. Adopt-A-Family, coordinated by the Division of State Service Centers, aids families in crisis – those struggling with illness, homelessness, domestic violence, poverty or unemployment. Donations made to our Branch for Adopt a Family are matched by the Branch to the extent possible to make every dollar go further.
We invite you to become a part of our branch’s history by becoming members and participating in our efforts. Our Branch meets twice monthly, alternating at the Newark Free Library and the Bear Library. Check our online calendar for our upcoming meetings and events on our website at http://newarkbranchnaacp.org/our-calendar.