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Thursday, October 16, 2008

95 Years of protecting civil rights in Seattle

The Seattle King County NAACP will be celebrating its 95th year of serving the civil and human rights interests of all people. Over the course of the past several decades we have promoted and protected equality in education, housing, employment, voting and so much more. While we are proud of our storied history, we will not rest on our past accomplishments. In the past year we have created several programs that we hope will become institutions in the Pacific Northwest. These programs include:

1. Seattle King County African American Legislative Day. This event is geared toward helping people of color to understand local politics and provide access to local politicians. We are touting this event as a major success. it was held at the Seattle City Hall and in the King County Council Chambers. Members of the community presented issues and concerns to local officials and we had the opportunity to have an open and frank discussion about what needs to change in our various communities. This is intended to be an annual event and will be held every year on June 19th.

2. Martin Luther King County Rally for Public Education: This is event is intended to provide educational access to those that are reliant upon a fully functioning public education system. Through this program we are able to provide information about open enrollment, special education programs, advanced placement classes and college admissions. This is now a yearly event.

3. Police Accountability Panel: Over the course of the past year we have held public hearings in throughout the county in reference to police accountability. Our research has helped to create policies that provide for greater accountability.

4. Health Fair: The Seattle King County NAACP recognizes that health disparities are a significant issue in our society. We also acknowledge that there are some diseases that disproportionately impact people of color. We are choosing to do something other than stick our head in the sand. We are holding a health fair on the same day as our 95th anniversary. At this event we will be discussing health care issues ranging from access to adequate health care to diabetes and HIV.

5. Youth Council: The Seattle King County NAACP recognizes that it is its responsibility to promote tomorrow's leaders. We are proud of our young people that have chosen to play an active role in their communities.

6. Executive Committees: In addition to the above mentioned programs, we have 18 executive committee members that handle hundreds of civil rights complaints every year.

95th Anniversary

This year we will be celebrating our 95th year by holding a special community event at Mt. Zion Church followed by a Dinner Reception at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle on November 15, 2008. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will be the guest speaker at the Mt. Zion event. Dr. Dyson is one of the foremost experts on urban culture and equity and equality in our society. His message is an inspiring one that helps people to understand the complexity of our society.

The Dinner reception at the Westin will involve entertainment and awards for those that have made significant contributions to civil and human rights in Seattle. This year we will be celebrating the King County Bar Association and the Loren Miller Bar Association.

In the early 1970s the King County Bar Association created a scholarship for minorities that had law school aspirations. The creation of that scholarship has helped to create greater diversity in the legal profession. In fact, there are attorneys on the NAACP Executive Committee that were recipients of the KCBA's scholarship.

The Loren Miller Bar Association is essentially the African American Bar for Washington State. As Loren Miller enters into its 40th year of promoting diversity in the legal system, it is important to honor its founding fathers and the trail that they blazed for so many others that dreamed of being lawyers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SAVE THE DATE: NOVEMBER 15TH Seattle King County NAACP celebrates 95 years of dedication to civil and human rights!POWER, JUSTICE, FREEDOM: VOTE!Program with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson* keynote address FREE to the community. Purchase tickets to Freedom Fund Reception at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ or call 1-800-838-3006*for more information on this speaker, please visit http://www.apbspeakers.com/

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