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Resolution

To Commemorate the 75' Anniversary of the NAACP Youth & College Division

WHEREAS, under the guidance of Mrs. Juanita Jackson Mitchell, a youth advocate from Baltimore, Maryland, a national youth program was created for youth members of the NAACP; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP National Board of Directors passed a resolution formally creating the Youth & College Division on March 9th 1936; and

WHEREAS, the program provided national activities for youth that were supported by monthly meetings that discussed the local needs of the community; and

WHEREAS, the major national youth activities were demonstrations against lynching, seminars and group discussions on the inequalities in public education; and

WHEREAS, the spirit of solidarity among black youths was sparked by years of racial discrimination, segregation, and mob violence; marked by an increasingly aggressive and efficient level of activity within youth units indicating not only intelligent leadership and loyalty on the part of the members, but a laudable spirit of cooperation among the young people; and

WHEREAS, from 1935 to the late 1940s, new NAACP youth units were organized; and in the 1960's NAACP youth units became entrenched in the fight for equality and justice; and

WHEREAS, in the 1950s and 1960s, due to heightened activity by youth units challenging all facets of discrimination, units conducted sit-ins, stand-ins, wade­ ins, drive-ins, read-ins, mass demonstrations, protests, marches, picket lines, and selective buying campaigns in the South, Midwest and in virtually every other section of the country; and

WHEREAS, in 1969, the Division created and implemented the mission of the NAACP Youth & College Division which is to inform youth of the problems affecting black and other minority groups; to advance the economic, educational, social and political status of black people and other minority groups; to stimulate an appreciation of the black contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent and militant youth leadership through devising, working out and pursuing local programs; and

WHEREAS, in the 1970s and 1980s, the Division's priority was voter registration and mobilization in an effort to stamp out voter apathy among black youth; a project that included youth and adults who walked from northern to  southern California and throughout the Midwest, South, and East Coast; and

WHEREAS, during the 1990s, the Youth & College Division focused attention on the glaring racial disparities that continued to exist in the United States. To address the growing higher education gap, the Division launched the "National Day of College Preparation", created in partnership with the Princeton Review Foundation, as a means to present college preparation skills and financial aid information to high school students and parents. Furthermore, in an effort to address youth violence within the black community, the "Stop the Violence, Start the Love" Campaign was created in 1997; and

WHEREAS, when the Division has sought a way to engage young people in juvenile detention facilities by creating the Phoenix Project. In addition, the "National Take Affirmative Action Day" was created as a vehicle for young people to engage in the protection of affirmative action programs across the country; and

WHEREAS, 75 years after its founding, the NAACP Youth & College Division continues to be one of the strongest, fastest growing and most capable elements in the NAACP. Through the creation of the Campaign to End Campus Racism, the STOP Campaign aimed at addressing negative images of African American youth in the media and the VOTE Hard youth voter outreach campaign, the NAACP Youth & College Division continues to develop brilliant, motivated young people committed to social justice and equality for all people of color; and

WHEREAS, with hundreds of active NAACP Junior Youth Councils, Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters actively involved in social justice advocacy, youth members continue to advocate around the issues of Education, Economic Empowerment, Health, Juvenile Justice, Voter Empowerment and now Climate Justice; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP is the only major civil rights organization which encourages youth leaders to participate fully in all aspects of its structure, including membership on the National Board of Directors, continues to actively support and uplift youth leadership and members in the Association; and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirm its commitment to the Youth & College Division by continuing its support to train and uplift youth leadership in the Association; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP proudly congratulates the NAACP Youth and College Division on its 75 years of activism and leadership. 

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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