MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENTNAACP Freeport Branch #3039
Message from the President
Greetings from the Freeport (IL) Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.). On behalf of the Officers and the Executive Committee of the Freeport Branch, “Welcome to Our Website”.
The Freeport Branch was reactivated by unanimous vote of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP on February 20, 2020 at their quarterly meeting held in Baltimore, MD. The reactivation comes on the shoulders of Freeport’s former Branch Presidents: Rev. Charles Collins, Steven M. Harrell, Dennis A. Jordan, Lanise Thames, Dorothy Turner, and George Benson.
As a longtime educator and school district administrator, now retired, I am honored to serve as Branch President of this respected and renowned organization. I currently volunteer my time and talents to serve in the Freeport community to further the goal of eliminating racial prejudice and social injustices. During the 1960’s, my parents were very active in the local civil rights movement in Freeport, Illinois. Their quest for social justice through hard work, effort, and advocacy instilled the same desire in me at an early age.
The NAACP is this country’s oldest, largest, and most successful civil rights organization with landmark accomplishments like Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. After 112 years, the NAACP remains the strongest and the boldest civil rights organization at the forefront on the ongoing battle to eliminate discrimination and racial injustices.
We are proud to say that our local Branch #3039 has 150+ members and continues to grow. The NAACP has been a multi-racial organization since it was founded in 1909 and is open to all who support our purpose, to eliminate discrimination. The Freeport Branch is multi-racial as well.
The VISION of the NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination. To that end, our MISSION is to:
- Ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of right of all persons
- Achieve equality of rights and eliminate racial prejudice among all citizens
- Remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes
- Seek the enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights
- Inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination
- Educate everyone on their constitutional rights and take all lawful action to secure the exercise of those rights and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and the NAACP Constitution.
As injustices persist, our Freeport Branch is focusing on:
- Civic Engagement:
- Increasing advocacy for voting rights and fair representation
- Assisting with the COVID-19 responsHaving a voice in the local community
- Providing Youth and Young Adult engagement
- Partnering with other organizations fighting for equal rights for all
- Education: Assisting in preparing students to meet the challenges of a global economy and become productive citizens fully equipped to take advantage of the opportunities of the future by providing mentors, workshops, and scholarships to local youth for post-secondary education.
- Membership Drive: Implementing an annual membership drive and recruiting members to serve on branch committees where the work of the organization is done.
- Fundraising: Conducting dynamic events to raise monies for programs, workshops, and scholarships as well as furthering the cause to unite the community.
We know that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes an involved community of dedicated members to give our NAACP Branch #3039 a strong and effective presence in Freeport, Illinois. We extend an invitation to those who believe in our purpose to join us, as we, according the U.S. Representative John Lewis said, “get into some good trouble”, fighting for justice and equality for all.
Yours in the Struggle,
Patricia L. Norman
President, NAACP Freeport Branch
Accomplishments of the Freeport Branch #3039
- November 16, 2020 – Local group met virtually with Illinois State Conference President, Teresa Haley to discuss Branch reactivation
- January 26, 2021 – Letter of Intent to reactivate the Freeport Branch submitted to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with the prerequisite number of new members and letter of support from the Illinois State Conference President, Teresa Haley.
- February 17, 2021 – Planning and Election Committee met to discuss reactivation procedures for the local Branch. Committee members included: Karl Bronn, Rev. Dr. Donnley Dutcher, Dr. Peter Flynn, Patricia Norman, Sarah Shelton, and Roy Sellers, Jr.
- February 20, 2021 – NAACP National Board of Directors voted unanimously to reactivate the Freeport Branch #3039
- March 18, 2021 – Planning Committee presents Slate of Officers to the Branch membership.
- April 23, 2021 – Freeport Branch Election of Officers
- May 24, 2021 – Officers and Members-at-Large seated at Branch meeting
- June 19, 2021 – Juneteenth Celebration in Taylor Park and at Junior’s Place
- July 10 – 14, 2021 – Branch represented at the 112th Annual NAACP Convention
- July 27 – 31, 2021– Membership Booth at the Stephenson County Fair
- August 4, 2021 – Young Adult Conference at the BGCFSC
- August 24, 2021 – NAACP program presented at meeting of Freeport League of Women Voters (LWV)
- August 28, 2021 – Sponsored a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic (1st shot) at the Boys and Girls Club of Freeport & Stephenson County (BGCFSC) with the BGCFSC, the Stephenson County Health Department (SCHD), and the Illinois Department of Health (IDH)
- September 4, 2021 – Co-sponsored the Freeport Community Block Party with the BGCFSC and Citizens United for Rights Respect and Equity (C.U.R.R.E.)
- September 18, 2021 – Sponsored a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic (2nd shot) with the BGCFSC, the SCHD, and the IDH