September 14, 2018
Ms. Darlene Andrus- AOWSAC Secretary
Mr. Gerald Hankerson- AOWSAC President
Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference
PO Box 12686
Salem, OR 97309
Re: Salem Keizer NAACP Branch 1166B 2018 Annual Report
Please accept this written report.
2018 saw the continuation of the presence, involvement and execution of the strength of this Branch. We brought visibility, engagement and rallying cries for all to join us in the continued fight for Civil Rights and Social Justice in our community, city and state. SK- NAACP Br. 1166 started the year with extensive planning and collective outreach to have 2018 clearly made aware of the critical dates and issues that we face.
MLK Jr. National Holiday [Jan. 15th]
- The holiday was on his actual birthday. He would have been 89 years old.
- It was also the 50th anniversary of his assassination. He was 39 years old.
- I was privileged to be asked by our city newspaper (StatesmanJournal/ SJ) to write an Op-ed piece on MLK Jr. It was published on his birthday.
- It was so appreciated that their sister paper, the Reno Gazette (both are part of the Gannett Newspaper/ USA Today) printed it as well.
- MLK Jr.- Rally (McKay High School) & March- (Lancaster Drive)
- Months of planning and invitations to other social justice organizations [RJOC, Coalition of Churches, and SKCE] and the diverse communities led to more than 400 participates.
Black Panther- the Movie at the Willamette Town Center/ Regal Theater
- The SK Br. co- sponsored w/ Rory Walker (a graduate of the SKSD) an exclusive showing
- On this holiday (Presidents Day) 130 AA students of the SKSD were invited
- A wonderful showing of our kids (from middle to high school) conducting themselves well
- All experienced a rare opportunity to see a Black Super Hero on the BIG screen
African American Youth leadership Conference (AAYLC) [May 24th]
- The 17th Annual conference was hosted for the 1st time by Corban University- Salem, OR
- We had the largest turnout of students (for one of our local Universities) to attend- 350 students.
- This year’s theme: LABELS [Learning Achieves Better Expectations in Living Successfully]
- SKSD Superintendent Christy Perry, Corban University Spokesperson and a great Keynote speech by Brandon Lee set the stage for a great conference
Juneteenth [June 16th]
- A great time was held as the SK Br. and the Coalition of Churches played host.
- A Proclamation by Salem City Manager- Steve Powers was read and presented on behalf of Mayor Chuck Bennett
- More than 100 members of the community attended and enjoyed speakers & food.
- A number of minority candidates for public attended and was well received.
World Beat [June 23rd and 24th]
- Our 4th year at this city- wide cultural celebration was very successful.
- Advertising for the exclusive showing of I AM MKF Jr. led to tremendous interest and sign- ups
- Wonderful weather allowed for the event to have great turnout.
I AM MLK Jr. (a new major motion picture) [July 10th]
- Our Br. hosted an exclusive screening of this latest documentary on MLK J.
- Screened at the Willamette Town Center/ Regal Theatre, all who attended enjoyed
Meet & Greet the new SKSD & State of OR Minority Hires [July 20th]
- This Br. has work consistently and intensely to bring diversity to our school district.
- This effort is focused at all levels- District Headquarters [Directors], Administrative (Principals & Assist Principals), faculty, et al.
- A year ago the beginning success of that effort was had. Cynthia Richardson, the longest serving AA Principal (North Salem High School) was named to the newly created Cabinet position of Director of Equity & Diversity.
- The new 2018-19 school year had several AA individuals and other minorities named to Principal, Assist Principal, teacher and school counselor.
- The SK Br. and the Coalition of Churches organized a Meet & Greet to welcome/ acknowledge their promotions and encourage all that this effort must continue (additional diversity), from inside as well as our efforts from outside of the District.
(The African American community) Meet SKSD Superintendent Christy Perry [August 22nd]
- This Br. has worked long & hard to establish a the working relationship with our School District
- Superintendent Christy Perry, having just concluded her 3rd year at the helm, had not had a collective meeting with the AA community
- Our students continue to have a difficult time improving their graduation rates, lessening disciplinary issues and establishing better attendance records.
- It was with this in mind that we have pushed hard to have Superintendent Perry meet and hear of the concerns of this segment of the student population (parents, guardians and students) and provide specific steps and directions to address these concerns.
- The meeting did address some of these issues.
- As noted above, the hiring aspect of the District (for people of Color) has begun to be reflected.
Freedom Fund Banquet [Oct. 20th]
- Our FFB is forthcoming. This year’s theme: Fight Hate- Vote
- Join us as we recognize Pioneers in our community and SKSD High School Scholarship Awardees
In summation, 2018 has been a busy and successful year. We now spend our biggest “focused energy” on the next eight weeks getting our community registered and out to vote for the November elections. Local, state and national elections will allow us to pivot and move forward or if we are lackadaisical have our country continue to move backwards in race relations, civil rights, social justice, employment, health care and education. We, all of us, have the power to make a positive change in the direction we go.
Benny C. Williams
President Salem Keizer NAACP Branch 1166
(503) 586- 6148 Cell
Salem Keizer NAACP Branch 1166 PO Box 13068 Salem, OR 97309 (503) 877- 4045 Office
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.