LETTER TO THE EDITOR: From A Concerned NAACP Life Member…
Young and Ambitious, But Clearly Unwise!
Racism, bigotry and oppressive schemes are clearly on the rise. Whether it be the public-school system, criminal justice, homeownership disparity, voter suppression, or economic opportunity disparity for minority and women owned businesses. This is a time when the NAACP and all other Black justice organizations need to be at their strongest. White supremacy is more prominent and public today than we would have imagined.
At 100 years old, the Houston NAACP has many accomplishments to claim. But at a time when the Black Community should be and needs to be in iron clad unity, a schism has been made public, brought about by a group of young adults who have made claims that obviously intend to damage the reputation of the Houston Branch. But let’s be clear, the Houston NAACP is definitely open to Young Adult involvement and leadership. In fact, there are a plethora of young adults who have and are presently holding leadership positions in the Branch! Namely, Dallas Jones, Rev. Alexander Johnson, Rev. William Cumby, Ms. Cha’Mira Keener, Mrs. Tiye Foley, Ms. Tangela Jefferson and Ms. Porschia Harris (just to name a few). This list of vibrant young men and young ladies are adding value and are using their voices to advance the work the NAACP does in the fight for social, economic and educational justice in our city and region. But while they are in the same age ranges of the group that is out making all the negative noise, they are different from that group in several ways.
Firstly, they are, for the most part, not newcomers to the organization. For instance, Dallas Jones has been a Member, Officer and has served in various capacities on the local, and regional and national levels. Presently, Dallas at age 38, is the 1st Vice President of the local branch. Then there are Executive Committee Members, Rev. Alexander Johnson, Associate Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church and Rev. William Cumby, Youth Pastor of Fountain of Praise who lead the branch’s Religious Affairs efforts as Religious Affairs Committee Co-Chairs. The Young Adult Committee which includes the millennial advocacy is led by Chair, Ms. Cha’Mira Keener, Attorney at Law. The backbone of the NAACP is headed by Mrs. Tiye Foley, Attorney at Law, who serves as its Legal Redress Co-Chair. With the lineage of civil rights in her blood, Ms. Tangela Jefferson leads the NAACP Emerging Leaders Group; and Ms. Porschia Harris who leads the NAACP NextGen movement is engaged in an extensive and comprehensive two-year civil rights and social justice leadership training program; in fact, Ms. Harris recently returned from a National NAACP leadership development conference.
This is how most serious and sincere young people learn the history, structure and inner workings of the organization. These are the legitimate young adults who are active and valued by the NAACP leadership. They do not support the dishonorable and damaging behavior of their young adult peers who are engaging in false accusations against the present staff and leadership. This group, who claims they are being shut out, has self-admittedly claimed a “hostile takeover of the local branch” and they have distinguished themselves as a group in revolt who simply want power to use at their own discretion and for their own personal agendas.
It needs to also be known that the leader of the revolt slate, Lloyd C. Ford II is named in a filed complaint with Harris County Civil Court #151. The judge ruled in favor of the local branch and found that Mr. Ford unlawfully hijacked the NAACP website and domain and placed its ownership under his personal company’s name, which is Creative Group Economics. Additionally, the order rendered to him by Judge Elaine Palmer, required him to refrain from using the NAACP logo, and name on personal information. This he was doing in violation of the NAACP Constitution and the law.
This is simply an attempted hostile takeover by illegitimate imposters. They are not just a group of young people who are ambitious and trying to make a difference. It is becoming clear to those who are in the know and are too mature to be fooled, that they are disrespectful and have no regards for those who came before them to pave the way through blood, sweat and tears. Hopefully, the voting members of the NAACP will vote this Thursday, November 15, to keep moving forward with proven freedom fighters, who have integrity and influence. In my opinion, now is not the time for disunity among the generations. Thankfully, there are young adult leaders within the Branch who are serving and who represent the best for the future of the Houston NAACP. This group is supporting Dr. James Douglas for President, Claude Cummings, Jr. for First Vice President, Bishop James Dixon for Second Vice President, Carol Galloway for Third Vice President, Carroll Robinson for Treasurer, Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz for Assistant Treasurer, Belinda Everette for Secretary and Mr. Anthony West for Assistant Secretary.
Divided we all fall. Together, we fight for all who are oppressed. And God knows we need justice now, like never before!