April 25, 2007
The NAACP has centralized operations of its Gulf Coast Advocacy Center (GCAC) within the Louisiana State Conference of NAACP branches, which is the affiliate entity responsible for maintenance of the organization’s volunteer base and its core advocacy.
The NAACP launched the GCAC in New Orleans to address the systemic issues of employment, education, housing and voter registration/election protection in the region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other major storms.
“In continuing our commitment to assist Katrina victims in the recovery,” said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis C. Hayes. “we will push the policy agenda to restore individuals’? lives through our Louisiana affiliates, who are residents of the affected areas and have a vested interest in succeeding in that effort.”
The Louisiana NAACP will partner with experts in developing research reports that reveal inequities and that monitor relief. Grants will also be provided to reduce the disparity in disaster preparedness.
“I am committed to addressing these issues that help our people help themselves,” said National NAACP Board of Directors member Rupert F. Richardson, who has been selected by the state conference to direct the effort. “We will move expeditiously to deal with those matters that can be legislatively impacted as our session begins in coming weeks.”
Since 2005, the GCAC has been an on-the-ground resource for evacuees who desperately want to return to New Orleans, but lack access to local resources. GCAC has become a clearinghouse for information, recommending individuals directly to those resources that address their needs.
“With all that has been done, more is going to be needed,” said Ernest L. Johnson, president of Louisiana State Conference of NAACP branches
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.