Livingstone National Alumni President Supports “A Call to Colors” GDN Exclusive Part XIIby Cash Michaels, contributing writer June 15, 2018
Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, president of Livingstone College in Salisbury, is resolute that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) should be “pushing our own students to be registered to vote.”
Mr. Arrington, the president of Warren H. Arrington, Jr. Enterprises, Inc. in Raleigh, has also been president of Livingstone’s National Alumni Association for the past year, and he tells Greater Diversity News that he couldn’t agree more, which is why he wholeheartedly supports GDN’s nonpartisan “A Call to Colors” HBCU voter registration campaign.
“The really strong push under this administration to suppress voter registration overall, and particularly here at HBCU schools in North Carolina [where lawmakers] are getting ready to put this voter ID [referendum] on the ballot, which means that if you’re a student, it’s another difficult situation,” Arrington told GDN.
“So it’s very important that everyone over the age of 18 registers [to vote] so that we can make a difference in the midterm election.”
Mr. Arrington, who is not a member of a fraternity, is very proud of his alma mater’s proactive stance in requiring all Livingstone students to register to vote if they are 18 or older. Still, he agrees that students need to understand why their keen understanding of the issues that affect their future is needed, and their voices must be heard.
“It’s very important that [HBCU students] make their own decisions if they really want people elected to office who will affect their outcomes,” Arrington insisted. “It’s extremely important, especially this year, that every HBCU student, sitting in a classroom, and is old enough, be registered to vote.”
In fact, Mr. Arrington spent part of Friday, June 15th coordinating workshops for students at the 2018 NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Education Scholarship Event.
“Many of these students want to be in politics,” Arrington said.
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.
Warren Arrington, president of the Livingstone College National Alumni Association, joins Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, president of Livingstone; Dr. Everett Ward, president of St. Augustine’s University; Dr. John Larkins, president of the St. Augustine’s University National Alumni Association; Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1); Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12); NC Sec. of Veteran Affairs Larry Hall; Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, pres. of the NCNAACP; newly appointed State Senator Milton “Toby” Fitch, who is also “Most Worshipful Grand Master State of NC and Jurisdiction of the Prince Hall Mason Lodge; Dr. Lavonia Allison, former chair of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People; Charles Warren, chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus; and N. Carnell Robinson, past chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus; Andrea Harris, Senior Fellow of the Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union; John C. Easterling III, president of the College Democrats of North Carolina and Robert Stephens, founder of the HBCU Collective, in endorsing the “Call to Colors” civic engagement campaign.
The “Call to Colors” campaign is working to formally engage with the Pan-Hellenic Councils, the NCNAACP, the NC Black Leadership Caucus, and the Prince Hall Masons and the Eastern Star, among others, to support the effort.
Mr. Arrington also joins other black leadership who endorse the “Call to Colors” action plan recommendation to subscribe to Greater Diversity News’ weekly Civic Engagement Project eNews for free at www.greaterdiversity.com.