DETROIT, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Detroit Branch NAACP is excited about the upcoming weekend scheduled for May 5-6th. The recent events in our nation concerning the violent deaths and challenges of so many young African Americans and Latinos have caused all of us to stop, take notice and consider plans of action for systemic correction.
There is absolutely too much violence in our communities – whether it be Aiyana Jones, Bianca Jones, Delrick Miller, Abreeya Brown, Ashley Conaway of Detroit, and, of course, Trayvon Martin in Florida. As a result of this level of violence in all of our communities, we are compelled to come up with strategies and solutions to save life and not to stand by and witness others simply in the taking of life.
Saturday, May 5th, the Thurgood Marshall Social Justice Advocacy Project of the Detroit Branch NAACP will present a special national forum "Stops, Cops, and America's Addiction to Incarceration." This forum will be held at the Cobo Convention Center from 10-1pm. We are pleased to have as partners – the Office of the US Attorney for the Eastern District headed by Barbara McQuade, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell, the Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police, Detroit Public Schools, NAACP Youth Council, Real Times Media and a host of others. Part 1 will focus on the topics of Know Your Rights, Traffic Stops, Street Stops, and Domestic Disputes.
As you know, law enforcement and the reaction to it is, of course, a two-way street. Part 2 of the forum will present a national panel discussion on America's addiction to incarceration. We will focus in on why America has the world's highest incarceration rate in which our own state of Michigan has the highest rate in the United States. One must also measure this with the knowledge that Michigan is among the lowest states in the funding of public education. We invite middle and high school students from the Detroit metropolitan area of all races to attend. It is free and, of course, open to everyone.
Sunday, May 6th, we are pleased to host our signature centennial event – the 57th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. For 100 years, the Detroit Branch NAACP has fought for voting rights, jobs, economic access and excellent education. We have made tremendous progress, yet we are also challenged by those who seem to be more focused on limiting our democracy – as opposed to expanding it.
The new Emergency Manager Law, the imposition of the consent agreements upon communities of color around our state based on their so-called "financial distress," the manipulation of congressional districts to determine the character of who shall be our elected representatives weighs heavily upon people of color and of conscience throughout our state. Among the many reasons that the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 had to do with the lack of consent of the people to no taxation without representation, as imposed by King George III of Great Britain.
The Declaration of Independence reads in part,
"For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments, for suspending our own legislatures and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever, and of course, for imposing taxes on us without our consent."
(i.e. taking our revenue without returning it to us, as promised $226 million). These factors demand that we call to action all our resources to challenge these attacks. Michigan must not become the new Mississippi. We have come too far to turn back now.
We stand upon the foundation of all of those freedom fighters from Frederick Douglass to Viola Liuzzo who have helped actualize the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Therefore, it is our unique privilege and pleasure to announce that our Keynote Speaker for the 57th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner--which originated with the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall--is the first African American Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder.
This is a fitting tribute to a long string of firsts for the African American community and the Detroit Branch NAACP. We welcome everyone to join with us in the city of Detroit on Sunday, May 6 at 4 p.m. It will undoubtedly be the hottest ticket and the most significant event in our town. See you there!
The Detroit Branch NAACP is the organization's largest branch. It holds monthly meetings that are free and open to the public. For more information please call (313) 871-2087 or visit www.detroitnaacp.org.
SOURCE Detroit Branch NAACP