“It’s a Family Affair:” NAACP Membership – A GDN Exclusiveby Peter Grear, Editorial Writer June 1, 2022
I am encouraging Black parents to purchase NAACP memberships for their children that are 25 and younger. It is also a good idea to buy one for yourself if you’re not already a member. The NAACP represents a cause greater than any individual.
Many parents and community leaders are debating the idea. The responses have been quite varied and insightful. The first reply is often, “why should I support the NAACP?” It is essential to understand the desired objective when parents purchase their child’s NAACP membership. The response that I give is that the purchase is not for the support of the NAACP; however, if it were, that would be entirely appropriate. The recommendation addresses several vital facts that are important for my children to know and that I believe the NAACP, as an organization, is singularly equipped to handle.
Overall, our children have a limited experience with Jim Crow, institutional segregation, and their attendant discrimination. Active NAACP chapters demonstrate and remind their members of our historical Black experience in America.
It suggests the Youth and College Division of the NAACP is most likely to teach our children the essence of mature leadership, activism, and civic engagement; lessons they cannot learn too early and provide lifelong benefits.
A brief review of the NAACP website will show a variety of issues that students work on as they mature into adult leadership. Activism is a standing goal of students, and they promoted it on campuses all over America. Voter education, registration, and mobilization are essential components of student activism and represent invaluable support in defense of voting rights and our threatened democracy.
Some of the discussions that I have had with parents center on parents’ inability to communicate with their children on numerous important issues that they could discuss during a routine conversation about activities NAACP students and adults are active in regularly.
NAACP students participate in ACT-SO competition as a part of their leadership development. ACT-SO was founded in 1978 by author and journalist Vernon Jarrett. The program recognizes young people who could demonstrate academic, scientific, and artistic achievement, allowing young people to gain recognition equal to that often achieved by entertainers and athletes.
So, the truth of the value of NAACP membership is that it is priceless and a modest expense that all families that value racial equality and student leadership should recognize.
Lastly, I have heard a comment that I have not been able to confirm, to the effect that The Divine Nine have suggested that all their undergraduate members become members of their student NAACP chapter. I hope that this is true, but if it is not, now is the time to make it happen.
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