Issues to Action: The New Black Student Movement – A GDN Exclusiveby Afi G. Osakwe, Contributing Writer July 25, 2022
The Black Community faces many issues, such as Race and Justice, Education Innovation, Environmental & Climate Justice, Economic Justice, Health and Well-being, Next Generation Leadership, Advocacy & Litigation, and more. Over the decades, perhaps none has been more critical than Voter Suppression by forces trying to re-establish Jim Crow and destroy democracy. Discussing these issues to find consensus and formulating appropriate actions to address them is a core function of The NBSM’s online think tank.
Standing on the front lines of fighting these problems has been two significant institutions often working together to find solutions, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and administrations and students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Significantly included in that coalition is the Black press. William Monroe Trotter (The Guardian), W.E.B. DuBois (The Crisis), Frederick Douglass (The North Star), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Peter and Kathy Grear (Promised Land Media/Greater Diversity News, GDN), and hundreds more. The Black Press has served as social activism stewards using civic engagement approaches just as Greater Diversity News does in context to today’s conditions and needs of the Black Community.
For instance, as an anti-voter suppression platform, GDN continues to work with mentors and students to develop solutions-oriented strategies focusing on voter registration, education, mobilization, and get-out-the-vote. This also includes developing The NBSM and its most recent student engagement initiative, “It’s a Family Affair: NAACP Membership.” Its objective is to increase NAACP membership with students, family, and friends throughout the nation in all HBCUs; Predominantly White Institutions, and Minority Serving Institutions with Black Student Unions (BSUs).
Then there is another issue, which is internal to the Black Community. Although addressing some of its most critical issues from just five years ago, dedication by committed people will continue to be required to enhance the strategic capacity of the NAACP moving forward. As Brian McCoy, online personality, digital media strategist, and civil rights activist based in Washington, DC, opined in his article of five years past, “The NAACP is not irrelevant, but we’ve got major work to do.”
“It’s a Family Affair: NAACP Membership” will help create more energy, not only with the NAACP, but with other coalition members such as the HBCU Alumni, Divine 9, Civic Engagement Advocacy Committees (CEACs), Churches, other organizations, businesses, and community participants at large not mutually exclusive from those participants already mentioned but as a nucleus to be replicated as a fundamental operational core and fully supporting and endorsing The NBSM.
The external issues are expansive and require interaction from outreach to other online communities such as Black Baby Boomers Who Seek a Better Future For All to participate in the Zoom GDN Leadership meetings and the student-led strategy and research meetings. These cross-online connections create better opportunities to communicate and use of digital technologies.
To remain current with relevant local, state, and national news and our Civic Engagement activities, including the “The New Black Student Movement” (The NBSM) and “It’s A Family Affair: NAACP Membership” initiatives: sign up for GDN’s free eNews publications at www.greaterdiversity.com, “read” our Greater Diversity News page. In addition, please ask your organizations, friends, and associates to do the above to generate and maintain greater mass participation with The New Black Student Movement initiative.