NAACP in Little Rock | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 18, 2007

NAACP in Little Rock

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2007 at 4:52 PM

I've just had the pleasure of a visit with NAACP leader Julian Bond, in town for a quarterly NAACP meeting and education summit.

The NAACP board chair wanted to talk about today, not yesterday. As glorious as the history of the NAACP is, today is more important, he said. The organization's work includes SAT preparation for college-bound teens, financial literarcy courses for college students, the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa and the NAACP's traditional work for social justice. The problems that the NAACP had such a high profile in fighting in the 1950s and 60s are not solved today, he notes. The core issues are unchanged -- poverty, a biased criminal justice system, denial of voting rights, unequal education and disparities in job opportunities and earning power.

James Murray, a Hendrix College senior who is working with us this summer, also contributes this report from the conference:

The 7th Biennial Daisy Bates Education Summit continues through Sunday, with an appearance Saturday by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who'll encounter opposition to the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind legislation.  This morning’s event, at the Peabody, was a panel discussion on “The Challenge of Accountability.” The panelists included representatives from the National Education Association, the Little Rock School Board and Philander Smith College. Syndicated columnist George Curry moderated the discussion, which took on such hot topics as hip hop, black male stereotypes in the media, the psychology behind academic and economic achievement in African-American youth and the high school dropout rate among minorities.

A gathering of all seven members of the Little Rock Nine is among the events on Saturday's agenda.

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