Fairfax County NAACP
News for You

January 2018

In this Issue:

  • 2018 President’s Message
  • Justice High School Fundraiser – January 6
  • Membership Committee Annual Planning Meeting – January 7
  • Criminal Justice Committee Meeting Reminder
  • General Membership Meeting – January 13
  • Annual Membership Dues
  • VA State NAACP Advocacy Day – January 16
  • Youth Council Meeting – January 20
  • An Insiders View of NMAAHC – January 20
  • NAACP Youth Tour NMAAHC – February 4
  • Black History Month Program – February 24
  • Thank You for Supporting the New Year’s Eve Gala
President’s Message

Fellow Members,

The new year marks a moment of renewed energy, renewed optimism, and a renewed sense of commitment. In 2017, we renewed our commitment to reconnecting with the community. In so doing, we hosted over a dozen community outreach events, such as the gubernatorial forum featuring Governor-elect Ralph Northam, Tom Perriello, and Lieutenant Governor-elect Justin Fairfax, among others. We also hosted a forum for the candidates running for School Board. In addition, we hosted several panel discussions featuring local community leaders on a wide range of topics such as criminal justice, teacher discrimination, and immigration. We also threw some fun-with-a-purpose events such as the Blue and Gold basketball game with Fairfax County Police Department officers playing opposite youth from across the county, a fish fry fundraiser, a Father’s Day brunch, and a New Year’s Eve gala – all of which were firsts for the branch. In addition, we had some notable achievements as result of our advocacy efforts, most significantly the changing of the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School to Justice High School, and the publishing of the branch’s first ever Criminal Justice Report card which graded local elected officials against our Criminal Justice Advocacy Agenda. We also started our Youth Council and our Young Adult Committee to help foster the next generation of leaders.

Needless to say, however, much work remains. Though Fairfax County is a great place to live and work, more needs to be done to address the disparity in how African Americans and Latinos are treated in the schools, criminal justice system, and job and housing markets, and Fairfax NAACP is up to the challenge. We will continue to hold our public leaders accountable by building on last year’s efforts, and expanding on those efforts when and where necessary.

This year also marks 100 years of the NAACP being in Fairfax County, when combined with the establishment of the Falls Church Branch NAACP. Even though the Fairfax branch received a separate charter during the 1944 restructuring, the link to its predecessor is undeniable and therefore demands recognition. To commemorate, we will host a Black History Program in February, and a speaker series throughout the year reflecting on the history of the civil rights efforts here in the county and Northern Virginia. Each program will have a different theme, starting with Women’s Role in the Civil Rights Movement in March, then The Struggle for Equal Education, African American Politicians in Fairfax, and The Role of the Black Church.

While 2017 was a remarkable year for the branch, 2018 promises to be even better. This year, we renew our commitment to strengthening our relationship with the black church, black fraternities and sororities, and other similar institutions that have historically served as centers of gravity for the civil rights movement. We recommit to working harder to improve the lives of African Americans and other underrepresented minorities in Fairfax County and across the Commonwealth. We renew our commitment to being the leading civil rights organization in the area. Most importantly, in 2018, we renew our commitment to you.

That said, we humbly ask that you also recommit to supporting the branch. Advocacy is not a spectator sport, and we can only go as far as your support propels us. Take a moment to review the missions of each of our committees to see which one you might be most interested in lending a hand on – even if it’s just a few hours per month. Or make a donation today. Your generous donations go towards things like room reservations, equipment rental, Freedom of Information Requests, youth activities, scholarships, booking guests, and much more. Thank you for supporting the NAACP, and may your 2018 be prosperous.

Kofi Annan
President, Fairfax County NAACP

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