Butterfield and NC NAACP Supports ‘Call to Colors’ To Achieve One Hundred Percent Civic Engagement at HBCUs – Part IIIby Cash Michaels, contributing writer Greater Diversity News March 21, 2018
- Leaders Endorse Civic Engagement Action Plan a ‘Call to Colors’ Part I
- Prince Hall Masons Support Civic Engagement Action Plan a ‘Call to Colors’ Part II
- N.C. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Larry Hall Supports a ‘Call to Colors’ Part IV
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) And Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP have joined many of North Carolina’s black leadership in endorsing the “Call to Colors” civic engagement action plan. A “Call to Colors”, part of Greater Diversity News’s (GDN) Civic Engagment Project, seeks to achieve one hundred percent voter registration on all of the state’s historically black colleges and university campuses for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)
“Imagine the kind of power our community would have if all HBCU students exercised their constitutional right to vote,” said Congressman Butterfield in a statement to GDN. The congressman is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus who has served in Congress since 2004 and is an alum of North Carolina Central University .
“Our voice would be amplified on a whole range of issues that black Americans care about, including student loan programs, tax reform, and gun violence prevention. That is why the upcoming elections are critical, especially for our young people.”
Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP
Dr. Spearman, who took the reins of the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization last October when former NC NAACP Pres. Bishop Dr. William Barber stepped down. Spearman not only supports the “Call to Colors“ civic engagement action plan, but made it clear that black leadership must come together without fail during this critical time to harness the black vote and make a real difference come the 2018 midterm elections in November.
“In order for black leadership to remain black leadership, two things must occur,” Dr. Spearman, a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, told GDN. “The first is for us to push open the door to further opportunity for the race, and the second is to check the egos that limit the success of our actions.”
Spearman, who also serves as president of the NC Council of Churches, continued, “When we move together for the good of the order, we win. When we move in separate directions, we lose. What better way to win than by re-engaging college students?”
Dr. Spearman and Congressman Butterfield join Dr. Lavonia Allison, former chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People; retired Judge Milton “Toby” Fitch, Most Worshipful Grand Master State of NC and Jurisdiction of the prince Hall Mason Lodge, Charles Warren, chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus, and N. Carnell Robinson, past chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus, in endorsing the action plan.
Engaging college students for voter registration drive
The “Call to Colors” campaign is working to formally engage with the Pan-Hellenic Councils, the NC NAACP, the NC Black Leadership Caucus, and the Prince Hall Masons and the Eastern Star, among others, to spearhead drives to get sororities, fraternities and other student organizations on HBCU campuses statewide fully involved and mobilized for civic engagement, and 100% voter registration.
“Through this renewed push…,” Congressman Butterfield said, “I hope we can use this energy as a catalyst to encourage students to get registered and get involved. We, each and every one of us, need to understand that our vote matters.”
Dr. Spearman added, “I hear the drum beating and ready to begin marching. My question to you is, “What more must we do to be saved?”
GDN’s strategy for “A Call to Colors”
GDN’s strategy for “A Call to Colors” response is quite simple and powerful. Ask all alumni associations, at all levels, to create standing committees for non-partisan civic engagement. They would ask their members to volunteer 8, 16, 24 hours or more per election cycle, to help mobilize Black voter participation. Volunteer activities could include making telephone calls, Facebook posting, door knocking, organizing their churches or other community-based organizations, Greek organizations, working polls, supporting the NAACP and more.
GDN recommends that Alumni Association urge all HBCU Student Government Associations (SGAs) to make similar civic engagement pledges. SGAs should have twice a year student rallies promoting civic engagement and student organizations. “A Call to Colors” is a suggestion that appeals to student and HBCU Alumni members sense of community responsibility.
Numerous black leaders that Greater Diversity News has spoken with, also endorses the “Call to Colors action plan. To get weekly Civic Engagement Project updates, please subscribe to GreaterDiversity,com’s weekly eNews, free at www.GreaterDiversity.com.