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Resolution to Establish a National Program to Empower Families and Communities

WHEREAS, African American communities currently face a disproportionate number of destructive forces that threaten to erode the very existence of these communities; and

WHEREAS, the poverty rate for African Americans is approximately 24% compared to the poverty rate for White Americans, which is approximately 8.6%. Additionally, the poverty rate for African American children is approximately 33% compared to 10% for White children; and

WHEREAS, according to the US Census Bureau, African American households currently have the lowest median income among race groups. In 2004, for example, African American households had a median income of $30,134 compared to the median income for Hispanic households ($34,241), White households ($48,977), Asian households ($57,518); and

WHEREAS, according to projections, 33% of all young African American men are involved with the criminal justice system and will spend some time in prison or jail during the course of their lives; and

WHEREAS, in 2005 the NAACP affirmed its support for U.S. Congressman Mel Watt's proposed legislation (H.R. 4197) that called for the United States President to present a plan to eradicate poverty in the United States by the year 2015; and

WHEREAS, experts believe that poverty is at the root of many social problems, from crime to disrespect for, and lack of knowledge of, one's culture to the deterioration of the nuclear family.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP strongly reaffirms its commitment to the 1993 "National Program to Abolish Poverty", which urged the Association on both a national and local level to join with local organizations to help build a movement to end poverty in America; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP launch a national empowerment campaign focused on addressing and eradicating poverty. The empowerment campaign will provide a comprehensive approach to addressing the destructive forces mentioned above, and focus on the following target areas:

  1. Family and Community Financial Empowerment
  2. Educational Empowerment
  3. Health Empowerment
  4. Civic Engagement and Empowerment
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