Posts Tagged ‘NAACP’

North Carolina NAACP Protests GOP Initiatives

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

 

(The Root) — Seventeen people were arrested on Monday during a nonviolent "pray-in" at the North Carolina General Assembly, which was held by the NAACP to call attention to the state's Republican-led assault against the civil rights of poor and minority voters. Ben Wrobel, a spokesman for the National NAACP, said that the men and women were arrested without incident during the two-and-a-half-hour event. 

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference, said during an afternoon conference call: "We come to this point today reflecting on the great moral tenets of the Scriptures, including love and justice. We are also guided and driven today by the great moral framework of our state constitution that was written 145 years ago by black and white men who were in search of a better way forward than the old past of racial division and slavery."

Barber referred to the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration as right-wing extremists and "the George Wallaces of the 21st century" because of measures that negatively affect poor people and minorities. During its first 50 days in session, the legislature has made the following decisions:

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Senate Proposal Would Eliminate Diversity Visas

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

(Hispanic Business) The U.S. Senate proposal to replace diversity visas with a merit-based program is being met with skepticism by some civil rights groups and black lawmakers. 

The current proposal is to create at least 120,000 merit visas a year by 2015 that would be replace the 55,000 diversity visas that have been doled out annually via lottery. 

Advocates said they haven't seen evidence yet a new merit-based program is an acceptable replacement for the diversity visas. 

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington office, is advocating the diversity program be retained, the Washington publication The Hill reported Friday. 

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School ‘Discipline Gap’ Explodes As 1 In 4 Black Students Suspended, Report Finds

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

 

(Huffington Post) For years, education advocates have highlighted the dire importance of closing the achievement gap of academic performance between students of different ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Now, another group of advocates is drawing attention to the discipline gap of unequal punishments to different groups of students.

The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, released two reports on Monday that show the increasing gap between suspension rates of black and white students. One million – or one in nine — middle school and high school students were suspended in 2009-2010, including 24 percent of black students and 7.1 percent of white students.

Most of the suspensions came not in response to violent behavior, but for minor infractions such as dress code violations or lateness. The research also found that suspensions increase the likelihood kids will drop out of school and commit crimes.

School districts that suspend students are hurting themselves, said Damon Hewitt, the director of education practice for the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund. "You can't close achievement gaps if you have a discipline gap at the same time," he said.

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Supreme Court Will Take New Look At Voting Rights Act

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

 

(Huffington Post) The Supreme Court said Friday it will consider eliminating the government's most potent weapon against racial discrimination at polling places since the 1960s. The court acted three days after a diverse coalition of voters propelled President Barack Obama to a second term in the White House.

With a look at affirmative action in higher education already on the agenda, the court is putting a spotlight on race by re-examining the ongoing necessity of laws and programs aimed at giving racial minorities access to major areas of American life from which they once were systematically excluded.

"This is a term in which many core pillars of civil rights and pathways to opportunity hang in the balance," said Debo Adegbile, acting president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

In an order Friday, the justices agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the landmark Voting Rights Act that requires all or parts of 16 states with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.

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NAACP to call on UN to investigate voter disfranchisement in US

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

(The Guardian) The leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, will travel to Geneva next week to tell the UN human rights council that a co-ordinated legislative attempt is being made by states across America to disfranchise millions of black and Latino voters in November's presidential election.

The delegation, headed by the NAACP's president, Benjamin Jealous, will address the council on Wednesday and call on the UN body to launch a formal investigation into the spread of restrictive electoral laws, particularly in southern states. The NAACP intends to invite a UN team to travel across America to see for itself the impact of the new laws, which it argues are consciously designed to suppress minority voting.

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New Mexico Black Groups Claim Bias at University

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

(New York Times) A group of African-American pastors in New Mexico, along with the Albuquerque chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., said Tuesday that they have filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging that black faculty and staff members at the University of New Mexico and its hospital are subject to discrimination.

The Title VI complaint, which was also filed with the federal Department of Education, says university administrators have created a racially hostile environment for black faculty members, students and the staff.

Specifically, it asserts that African-Americans have been excluded from positions in the school’s upper administration; that black women at New Mexico were virtually left out of all positions of authority; and that blacks on the faculty faced disparity in salaries compared with fellow minority colleagues.

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US Justice Dept. to probe Miami police shootings

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

(Atlanta Journal Constitution) The U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation Thursday into whether Miami police officers engaged in a pattern of excessive use of deadly force in the fatal shootings of seven African-American suspects over an eight-month span.

Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, and Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the probe will focus not on the individual officers but on whether the Miami Police Department's policies and practices on use of force led to violations of constitutional rights. The investigation is not criminal in nature.

"We're looking at systems. We're not looking at individual culpability," Perez told reporters. "We will follow the facts where the facts lead us. We will peel the onion to its core."

The shootings in inner-city Miami, from July 2010 to February 2011 and including two others that were not fatal, sparked outrage in the African-American community and led to protests at City Hall. The NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union, among others, demanded a federal investigation.

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Civil rights, labor groups to hold jobs march Oct. 15

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

(People's World) Energized by President Obama's bold call for passage of the American Jobs Act, civil rights and labor groups are calling for a national march in Washington, D.C., on October 15 to support it. The following day Obama will deliver remarks at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Both events were rescheduled after Hurricane Irene forced postponement of the previous August dates.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the event, Rev. Al Sharpton said, "We will bring forth the masses who have not been heard in the midst of the jobs debate. As the president fights for a jobs act, as supercommittees meet, they need to hear marching feet. This is to send a message to Congress."

The National Action Network along with the NAACP and several labor unions including the National Education Association and the Communications Workers of America are key organizers of the event.

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Comcast-NBCU Under Fire for Dragging Its Feet on Diversity

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

(The Wrap) When Comcast was angling to take over NBCU, the cable giant promised prominently to increase the profile of minorities at the company and launch eight independent cable networks, including four under African-American control.

That includes a recent disastrous meeting between Comcast executives and Oprah Winfrey, in which Comcast executives rebuffed the media queen's request for support for her OWN network.

Leading entrepreneur Russell Simmons was rebuffed when he approached NBCU CEO Steve Burke about acquiring the Style network.

The National Urban League, NAACP and Al Sharpton's National Action Network, major civil rights groups, see several trouble spots with their efforts to work with Comcast, TheWrap has learned.

NBCU, for example, has yet to fill the post of chief diversity officer. It has been vacant since Paula Madison, executive vice president, retired in May.

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Civil rights groups fume over all-white all-news primetime

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

(RBR) The NAACP has already lashed out at CNN for passing on yet another opportunity to diversity its all white primetime lineup with the exit of Eliot Spitzer. Now the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), NAACP and other civil rights groups are conferring on a plan of attack to deal with CNN and its all-news cable competitors.

The NABJ deplored an “ostensible trend in cable news to pass over African American talent for prime time programming” in announcing that it is in discussions with several civil rights organizations to address the matter and direct a definite course of action.
 
"We appreciate the support of like-minded organizations stepping up to affect change as black journalists are ignored and in turn, black communities get shortchanged in the coverage of important issues," said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. "We are dedicated to getting this issue resolved."
 
Currently, there are no African American anchors hosting prime time news hours for any major cable network. “While MSNBC is reportedly on the verge of offering civil rights activist Al Sharpton his own prime time slot, there are no black journalists who can tout a similar promotion,” NABJ noted.

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