Prince Hall Masons Support Civic Engagement Action Plan a ‘Call to Colors’ Part IIby Cash Michaels, staff writer GreaterDiversity.com March 21, 2018
A GDN Exclusive:
- Leaders Endorse Civic Engagement Action Plan a ‘Call to Colors’ Part I
- Butterfield and NC NAACP Supports a ‘Call to Colors’ To Achieve One Hundred Percent Civic Engagement at HBCUs Part III
- N.C. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Larry Hall Supports a ‘Call to Colors’ Part IV
A “Call to Colors” is a non-partisan civic engagement action plan backed by influential African-American leaders and leadership groups across North Carolina. A Time to Colors‘ goal is to register 100% of eligible students on North Carolina Historically Black Colleges and University campuses to vote in the 2018 midterms this fall, and beyond, by engaging fraternities, sororities, and other campus student organizations to mobilize.
One organization that is in full support of a “Call to Colors” is the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, and its leader, Milton Frederick “Toby” Fitch Jr., Most Worshipful Grand Master State of NC and Jurisdiction.
Fitch, 71, is a retired superior court judge and former state legislator. He says that young people definitely have a stake in voting this November. Their vote will help decide who ultimately will shape their future. Fitch and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Masons believe that “Unity” is the key towards effecting the kind of important electoral change needed in the state and across the nation.
“We can survive all of our perils, but we must keep our tails tied together,” Fitch said. “I think it’s good, and will do all that I can to see to it that Prince Hall Masonry participates,” Fitch continued about “Call to Colors” effort. “We ought to request and require all – and Prince Hall Masons do – [that] in order to be a Prince Hall Mason in the state of North Carolina, you must be 18 years of age, well recommended, born free, and registered to vote.”
Fitch added that a mechanism should be put in place for members: once they get registered to vote, they stay registered.
Carnell Robinson, former president of the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus, is also a Prince Hall Mason, once serving as Master of Beauty of Dunn Masonic Lodge #155, is also full square supportive of a “Call to Colors” civic engagement action plan for 100% voter registration on state HBCU campuses.
And he, like Toby Fitch, current NCBLC President Charles Warren, and former Durham Committee of the Affairs of Black People Chair Dr. Lavonia Allison, agree that supporters should subscribe to GreaterDiversity.com’s free, weekly Civic Engagement Project updates at www.GreaterDiversity.com and get the latest voter registration strategies.
“I’d like to commend Peter Grear and Greater Diversity News for making the effort to provide information for evaluation to people across this state. I think that it is imperative that we have a trusted source of information, and I believe that Peter Grear is making an honest effort to do so in a non-partisan way.”
Robinson continued, “The objective here is to educate, and get people to engage in a process, not to indoctrinate.”
“So I applaud his efforts.’
Robinson, 67, also made clear that aggressively getting young people at black colleges to become proactive about the issues is a must.
“It’s past time that we reach out to our young people, and especially those on our Historically Black College and University campuses, to get them involved in civic engagement, so that they can become aware of the issues, and hopefully that they can get the other students on the campuses…,” Robinson told GDN recently. “And even, those people in their home communities in their age groups, to get involved in the process.”
‘The process begins with voter registration,” Robinson continued. “That is the main issue because our most loyal voters are those in the 45 and up category.”
“For young people to step into the leadership role, They have to be engaged civically,” Robinson, the former mayor pro-tem of Dunn, added.
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.