7 Things I Learned About The Local NAACP
It shouldn't surprise you with the state of the world today but I am often angry. I’m angry about disenfranchisement, I'm angry about rising housing costs, I’m angry that insulin is harder to access than student loan debt, I’m angry that people with two full time jobs can’t afford studio apartments, I’m angry about violence (especially the kind that takes place over fried mystery meat in pumpkin hued packaging and the clout chasing antics it inspires).
One of the ways I combat that anger is by supporting people, and organizations who are brave enough to spend their time fighting against these things. Community involvement matters to me and while I’m not nearly as engaged as I should be I never lend my presence, voice or pen to a cause I haven’t researched. Recently thanks to learning about their upcoming programming I was inspired to find out more about the Rahway chapter of the NAACP. The organization is currently focusing on their efforts on advocating for improved quality of life here’s what I learned about how they’re going about that.
By Hosting Community Health Screenings
They sponsor several events throughout the year that allow people with no or limited insurance to screen themselves for potentially life threatening illnesses.
By Promoting Black Owned Businesses
Yoga studios, coffee shops, hair salons it doesn’t matter if it’s Black owned and in the area they make sure their supporters are aware of it.
By Hosting Cultural Events and Family Celebrations
They host a variety of holiday, culinary, music and art themes throughout the year. Many of which are the perfect place for a small business owner or a budding artist to get their start. In fact their funds and man hours sponsor many of the street fairs where I've found small vendors for everyday items I love.
By Offering Opportunities for Lateral Networking
They host both formal and non-formal events to sponsor their community efforts, celebrate consistent public servants, and give their supporters a chance to socialize and network with one another.
By Providing Access to Information About Relevant Legislation
As apart of a national organization they are informed about policy and they go out of their way to make sure that others are informed as well. They distribute information about local and national changes.
By Connecting People To Advocates
Having a problem with your landlord or your employer and you feel like you have no one to talk to? Reach out. They will lobby and advocate for you as well as make sure that you understand your rights regarding discrimination.
By Carrying On A Legacy
The NAACP has been an integral part of the progress made by Black people and even with the advent of more progressive and less traditional spaces their work is still relevant and has a place in our lives. Don’t discount them. Engage and see what impact your local chapter has to offer.