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Woman holding Baby in Mississippi after tornado
Press Statement November 3, 2023

NAACP Launches Historic Disaster Resiliency Partnership with American Red Cross

Woman holding Baby in Mississippi after tornado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 3, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, amercedes@naacpnet.org

WASHINGTON – As the 2023 hurricane season comes to a close, the nation's preeminent civil rights organization has announced its partnership with the American Red Cross. This historic collaboration is geared toward building greater awareness around, and increasing disaster resilience with a focus on centering communities of color who stand to be most impacted by the worsening effects of the climate crisis. 

"This partnership with the American Red Cross is a critical component of our continued work to serve Black America,"said Abre' Conner, NAACP Director of Environmental Climate Justice. "We have already seen how the extreme effects of the global climate crisis disproportionately burdens Black communities. Now, it's time to take action and ensure that everyone has access to the life-saving disaster relief and resiliency resources they need and deserve. Together, we will continue to craft innovative solutions that reach those most in need while shaping a more equitable, resilient, and hopeful future for all."

The NAACP firmly believes that disaster relief must go beyond emergency response and look towards building sustainability and resilience. Communities of color are often forced to shoulder the burden of a crisis that they did not create. As the effects of the climate crisis continue to worsen, it is crucial that our most vulnerable communities are provided with the resources necessary to protect themselves and their families.

"The Red Cross is grateful to the NAACP for their partnership expanding outreach into more communities that will deliver critical resiliency information to families and individuals before disasters strike," said Mark Smith, Executive Director of Red Cross Engagement and Partnerships Program. "With the acceleration of the climate crisis, today, the Red Cross is responding to nearly twice as many large disasters in the U.S. as it did a decade ago – there isn't a minute to lose."

Earlier this year, the NAACP announced an equally important partnership with FEMA to center equity in disaster resilience and response efforts. For more than 100 years, the Association has stepped up to fill the gaps where institutions continuously fail communities of color.  

For more information on our environmental and climate justice efforts, visit our website.

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About NAACP

The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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