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  • 12 Nov 2015 7:10 PM | Communications Committee (Administrator)
    Ellison Edited

    U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN 5th District) visited Duluth on Monday, Nov. 9 to discuss the “The State of Black America and the Way Forward” before an overflow crowd at St. Mark AME Church.  U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, whose district Ellison was visiting, also addressed the audience and participated afterward in a question-and-answer session. See below for full video of the evening's conversation.

    Xavier Bell, left, moderated a question-and-answer session at the end of the evening. Audience members asked question ranging from the need for housing finance reforms, to broader enfranchisement of minority groups, to disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, to misallocation of financial and political resources to perpetual warfare.

    Xavier Bell, left, moderated a question-and-answer session at the end of the evening. Audience members asked question ranging from the need for housing finance reforms, to broader enfranchisement of minority groups, to disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, to misallocation of financial and political resources to perpetual warfare.

    The two congressman agreed that the U.S. faces increasing economic disparities that disproportionately affect people of color and groups that continue to experience the effects of racism. Racism, they noted is a divide-and-conquer strategy used to support economic, political, and social inequities.  Members of society -- especially working class whites -- who actually have more interests in common with groups lower on the societal pecking order find themselves distracted by these strategies.  Thus, confronting and ending racism is everyone's concern and responsibility, particularly if they desire a more equitable society and better future.

    Eliminating big money in politics as well as transforming the longest war-time economy in U.S. history to focusing on meeting human needs, investing in human development through education and health care, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, and promoting a more just and peaceful world with environmental sustainability were among other themes the representatives discussed.

    Click here for coverage in the Duluth Budgeteer 

    Photos and summary by David Clanaugh; thanks to Doug Bowen-Bailey for capturing and uploading the video of the evening's conversation.


  • 25 Aug 2015 7:05 PM | Communications Committee (Administrator)

    Bayard Rustin and George Houser in a sit-in protest against segregated restaurants in Toledo, Ohio (from the Congress for Racial Equality website).Duluth NAACP Branch members and community members commemorated noted civil rights leaders Julian Bond and George Houser with a memorial ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 22 at the Canal Park North Pier. Bond and Houser died during the same week with their shared legacy of advocating for civil rights.

    A portrait of Julian Bond by Eduardo Montes-Bradley, used with permission under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.Bond, 75, co-founded the Student Nonviolence Coordination Committee (SNCC), served as a co-founder and first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and chaired the NAACP from 1998 to 2010. He also served 20 years in the Georgia Legislature. Bond was heavily involved in voting rights advocacy and increasing political representation for all members of U.S. society. Bond also gave a very inspiring MLK Day address earlier this year that was broadcast during the annual MLK Breakfast in Duluth.

    People across the U.S. remembered Bond by gathering at bodies of water across the county to spread flower petals. This happened at the same time that Bond's cremains were committed to the Gulf of Mexico during a private family service.

    Houser, 99, co-founded the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) and co-led the Journey of Reconciliation that served as a model for the 1961 Freedom Riders. This Methodist minister was also a strong voice for the independence of African nations throught the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and served on the staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). Two memorial celebrations of George Houser’s life and legacy are currently being planned. The first is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19 in Santa Rosa, CA. An east coast memorial will be held later in the fall in the New York metropolitan area. Details are available at the FOR website: http://forusa.org/

    Duluth Branch NAACP President Claudie Washington noted that the nation-wide remembrance will provide an opportunity to recommit to the voters right advocacy that was a significant part of Bond and Houser's work and legacy. Washington said much work remains to be done during this 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act to not only to secure those rights but to thwart efforts to erode them. Voting, Washington concluded, is a core democratic responsibility that we all must exercise to forge a more inclusive, just, and equitable society.

    Local media coverage:

    http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Remembering-Julian-Bond-322609672.html

    http://www.fox21online.com/news/local-news/Former-NAACP-President-Remembered/34867294

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