July – Economic Empowerment
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18
We are living in tumultuous times. Take a look at the headlines over the past several months and the scene seems to be reminiscent of the 1960’s and the civil rights struggle. Some are old enough to still remember, participated in or even watched in horror the Watts riots, riots in California, New York, Jersey City, Maryland, Chicago, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Georgia, I could go on; the message is clear: People cared, people were angry, people were dis-satisfied, people were pro-active, people assembled, people accomplished. Although riots by name suggest violence, and there was a lot of that, many believed “the ends justified the means”. Historically this may have been the case. But the time for marches in the streets, guns, looting, killing and violence is over, and done. We live in a more technologically advanced society, and we need to advance and grow with it. 50 years ago, the mindset was different, the culture was different, race was perceived differently. Although some remnants of that world remain the same, by and large its gone. We do not want to promote hate for any man, or any race, but rather – we want to promote love, respect and goodwill. Where in history have you ever seen the promotion of hate and violence come to a positive end?
So how do we motivate, how do we move on, how do we accomplish? I have your answer: Economic Empowerment. Start businesses, invent, invest back into our own neighborhoods. Encourage young people to dream, and show them how they can achieve by putting their minds to good use – with planning and growing and starting something to call their own, something that makes an impact and leave a footprint on the world. Instead of showing our people how to march, yell, proclaim, need, complain, wallow in self pity and degradation and disrespect? Show them how to take care of their credit, receive small business loans, work with the SBA, create partnerships with local area banks that have customers in our communities. The possibilities are endless, and the impact? Resounding, far-reaching and evident! This month we will have a town meeting with Mayor Michael Hancock and the Economic Development Executive Director Paul Washington, at New Hope Church in Denver. Come out and be a part, learn, ask questions, grow. Use your walking shoes for exercising, Make signs to promote local business. Use your money (keep it in your pocket or take it elsewhere) to affect businesses that promote discrimination and racist tendencies. Don’t patronizing them; spend your dollars elsewhere. There is so much we can do! We can make an impressive impact by mobilizing and utilizing our minds in a collective fashion, we can refine our technique! Let’s promote community policing (Google it)! Law enforcement doesn’t know the people in the communities they serve. I believe we would be less likely to be shot down like dogs in the street if law enforcement knew who we are! You really want to protest? Create online petitions, gather signatures, create YouTube videos, use electronic radio, create your own podcast, video-blog or blog. All of these will make an impact. Come out to the town meeting this Saturday and take the first steps to becoming a part of the future.
We can learn from the past, but we don’t have to imitate it. Its a different world. No, we never want to forget the sacrifices and struggles of many of our relatives, friends and comrades; but now its time to use strong-arm tactics by mobilizing our dollars and cents! Lets gain the upper hand through economic partnerships and through entrepreneurship, patents, inventions, and more. America is a capitalist society, we can make our own way – no more handouts, no more whining about what we don’t have or what we don’t get. Lets go out and take it! We have the tools, resources, knowledge and passion to meet our goals. Just do it!
Linda Short 7/19/2016
“We’re no longer only entertainers, we’re producers, studio executives. No longer small business owners — we’re CEOs, we’re mayors, representatives, Presidents of the United States.”
President Barack Obama
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/obamas-howard-commencement-transcript-222931#ixzz4AxLNESL0
This month the NAACP Denver Branch focuses on Jobs and Careers. It is unfortunate that many graduates (depending upon their majors) will be hard pressed to find careers and jobs in their majors. Statistics show that approx 80% of college graduates do not actually obtain employment in their major areas of study. On top of that graduates will soon be concerned with student loans and payments. Some may begin to wonder if the investment was worth the cost. Some may opt to return to school and further their education as associate degrees seem to be a thing of the past, and bachelors degrees seem not to far behind. These facts, opinions and thoughts may seem depressing to some. But rather than fixating on the obstacles, lets look at the benefits — doors that were once closed now opened. President Obama, during his commencement address at Howard University, listed some of the professions that we now have the opportunity and ability to gain. The sky is the limit!
This month we will be hosting a job fair in partnership with Americorps. Consider attending — call a friend or family member who is currently unemployed looking to change careers, looking to make a new or first start, or just seeing whats out there. Yes, challenges do abound, no one ever said it was going to be easy. But, its inspiring to know that there are organizations such as the NAACP that strive every month to make a difference in our community. Why not join or renew your membership today. Be a part of a forward facing organization of change!
Linda Short, June 7,2016
May is generally graduation month, and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the graduates not only here in Denver, but all over the United States. You endeavored to reach a goal, you persevered through blood, sweat and tears, and you made it happen! I imagine there were times where you felt like giving up, throwing in the towel, and walking away, but you did not. You are walking across the stage lifted by the prayers of your family, friends, and loved ones. We are proud of you! Job well done!
Now as you make preparations to move forward to your next milestone, we ask that you take a moment, and remember those who for whatever reason(s), whether it be opportunity, finance, or motivation, did not reach the place where you’ve successfully arrived. Take a moment to think of your ancestors who suffered and died so that you might have a right to walk across that stage, as free and as proud and unfettered as any other american. Think, and then give back to your community with your time and commitment. Make a pledge to work for equality, knowledge and justice for those who are coming behind you and look up to you; and also in honor of those trailblazers who down through the years led the way. Won’t you make that commitment to join the NAACP today?
We have rescheduled our April event that was postponed due to inclement weather. We need your support and hope to see YOU there!
Linda Short, May 9, 2016
The education of African American children is in crisis mode. The situation is especially dire in our local Denver community and schools. One debateable reason has been identified as the lack of Black educators. In an article published last October 2015, Chalkbeat Colorado posted an article penned by Alan Gottlieb, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News (see link below); you will see listed a few presumed reasons why black educators were missing from Denver County schools. However, one point that was interestingly absent was the fact that there are qualified black educators who would like and have applied to positions in these schools, but are simply not selected. TeachAmerica hosts a program that focuses on placing qualified teachers in inner-city schools nationwide, but strangely enough Black teachers are not selected to fill these posts in Denver either. There does seem to be an eerie disconnect… and the reasons why may not be as obvious or overt as some would lead us to believe. This is but one of many problems plaguing our schools in the Denver black community. There are also issues of funding, closings, expungement, firings, and poor parental involvement to name a few.
This month, the Denver Branch of the NAACP, is focusing on education and have scheduled a Young Black Minds Matter– event scheduled at the Evie Dennis Campus (Bldg 5) located in the Green Valley Community,
April 16th at 11:00am (postponed due to inclement weather, new date and time TBA); this function will host Dr. Joyce Brooks and Eddie Koen.
Through advocacy training, policy development and guidance, building collaborative networks, and direct action, the National Education program works to assure an equitable start for all Americans.
Link to the NAACP National Site: http://www.naacp.org/programs/entry/education-programs
Linda Short, April 10, 2016