President's Message

End of 2014 – Presidential Notes

I’d like to thank everyone who has worked to continue the mission of the Eugene/Springfield branch of the NAACP! As we enter into the Holiday season we look back on the last year and have to feel good about the years accomplishments highlighted by Asia Wooten’s National debut, as a gold medalist in classical musical performance category at the National Act-So competition in Las Vegas, and two local policy victories! The campaign for marriage equality, and the paid sick days can both be celebrated as we consider the highlights of the last year. In the mist of National and local turmoil and change, we continue to work as a valuable partner and voice of promise and diversity.

Obama Takes action!

A historic day for the people of Cuba, two thirds of who are of African descent! The US intervened when Cuban anti-colonialist were about to overthrow the colonial Spanish government.

From the Book, A People’s History Of the United States
“There seems also to have been another kind of fear. The Cleveland administration said a Cuban victory might lead to “the establishment of a white and a black republic,” since Cuba had a mixture of the two races. And the black republic might be dominant. This idea was expressed in 1896 in an article in The Saturday Review by a young and eloquent imperialist, whose mother was American and whose father was English — Winston Churchill. He wrote that while Spanish rule was bad and the rebels had the support of the people, it would be better for Spain to keep control: A grave danger represents itself. Two-fifths of the insurgents in the field are negroes. These men . . . would, in the event of success, demand a predominant share in the government of the country . . . the result being, after years of fighting, another black republic. The reference to “another” black republic meant Haiti, whose revolution against France in 1803 had led to the first nation run by blacks in the New World. The Spanish minister to the United States wrote to the U.S. Secretary of State: In this revolution, the negro element has the most important part. Not only are the principal leaders colored men, but at least eight-tenths of their supporters. . . . and the result of the war, if the Island can be declared independent, will be a secession of the black element and a black Republic.”
The 1898 the treaty of Paris gave authority to the US military which sought to control peasant and black revolts against the new system. 60 years later the Cuban revolution was held as a victory for people of color all over the world.

New Office Space in the Atrium Building? We need your help! Donate today!

With the help of Mike Kinninson, from the Human rights office at the City of Eugene, and Pacific Realty we are in a position to gain prime office space in the Atrium Building. This could be a valuable asset as we grow our programs. We would be the principle occupant of the 1300sqft ground floor space. I have been in conversations with others to be possible partners, and I hope to sign the contract by the end of the month, But the reality is we need financial support to move ahead in the new year with innovation and continued outreach to those in need. Please consider an end of the year gift of support!

Recent Developments

After our local election we now have a VP. Lisa Bean will add a valuable voice and perspective. Advocating for community members who call our number has continued to be a big part of our local functions. The Back to School program, has had a successful start with coordinator Searsy Green, and we have spoken about the necessity for funding for the BTS coordinator and staff. We are presently working with LESD as partners to serve African American Youth locally, and recently have partnered with Centro Latino Americano to serve at risk youth through a referral based program. Our Ed committee has successfully written a grant to connect parents to relevant programs with the United Way.

The work ahead will be concentrated on establishing a voice locally and in the state capitol that articulates the will of our community in Salem and elsewhere. I hope to use the freedom fund dinner to support that mission by inviting Black elected officials to participate in the dinner as speaking guests. The Valley River Inn has been reserved, and the date is set for February 27th 2015. The 2015 MLK march is set for January 19th.This year we will partner with the University of Oregon to kick the march off at PK park on Martin Luther king Blvd, also this will be the first year that the City of Eugene’s, Human Rights award, will be presented at the conclusion of our March, symbolizing our relationship as partners. Together we are set to grow and become more effective in the work we do, with new ideas and the same
old determination we can move forward.
My regards,

Eric Richardson, President – Unit #1119