5 K Walk For Justice, September 19, 2015

Photo by Rene Theberge

 The Amherst Area NAACP and
the New England Area Conference  NAACP
5K Walk For Justice

In Amherst our walk will begin at 10:00 am from Haigis Mall, UMass.  We will conclude at Sweetser Park Amherst Center, across from the police station and the Black Sheep Deli.

We have organized a "Cane Brigade" for those unable to complete the walk.  Cane Brigade members will begin arriving at Sweetser Park between 10:30 and 11:00 am.

Remember to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable walking shoes.  Be sure to carry your water with you during the walk.

The Goal & Purpose is 
To develop a multi-racial, multi-age group of thousands of people who will participate in some leg of the Relay to demand legislative changes. A significant and diverse participant group will send a powerful message to the different legislative bodies that a broad cross-section of citizens is demanding change.  The desired legislative changes, include:

1.      Cultural competency of police forces, and at all command levels

2.      Independent or special prosecutors when police are subject to prosecution for serious crimes, including assault, excessive force and killings

3.      Requirement for police body cameras

4.      Other policies and practices which may lead to better and more effective policing and the elimination of race based policing and discrimination against the disabled.

The Relay will endeavor to gain the sponsorship and active support of significant numbers of civil rights organizations, religious groups, community groups and unions.  To be effective, the Relay must appeal to youngsters, college students, young workers, and older people --  in short, people of all ages.
Organization co-sponsors
My organization wants to make a donation to the Amherst Area NAACP:
Make Checks payable to:
Amherst Area NAACP
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box175
Amherst, MA 01004

Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75

Julian Bond at the N.A.A.C.P.’s annual convention in 2007. Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press       
The NAACP, New England Area Conference mourns the passing of 


Mr. Bond passed away yesterday, Saturday, August 15, 2015 at the age of 75.  He is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP, serving for 12 years in that capacity.  He served with distinction, marked by both vigor and calm respected leadership.  He remained on the Board after stepping down as its chairman in 2010.  Mr. Bond’s entire adult life had been regarded as a giant in the fight for equal rights and human rights.  Beginning in college, he led student protest to desegregate public facilities while a student at Morehouse College..  He was one of the student leaders who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC).  He stood in ardent opposition to the Vietnam War and participated in many opposition demonstrations throughout the country.  

He served in the Georgia Legislature for 20 years, 6 in the senate and 12 in the house.  However, when originally elected, the house refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War.  He filed suit and the Supreme Court unanimously ordered that he be seated, saying that the legislature had denied him freedom of speech.

He became a founder, along with Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center.  He was its president from 1971 to 1979 and remained on its board of directors.

Julian bonds leadership, guidance and direction will be missed by the NACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the civil rights and human rights movements.


NAACP National
Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, and Our Schools Matter
From August 1 to September 16, America’s Journey for Justice–an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.–will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.
Issue Focus by State:
Alabama - Economic Inequality
Georgia - Education Reform
South Carolina - Criminal Justice Reform
North Carolina - Voting Rights
Virginia - Youth Rally
Washington, D.C. - Full legislative agenda

For more information go to the National NAACP website or sign-up to get updates


New England Area Conference (NEAC)
Unity Walk for Justice,
*Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015*
If for any reason the "America's Journey for Justice" walk is beyond the reach of you or your Branch members you will want to know about the New England Area Conference (NEAC) Unity Walk for Justice, *Saturday Sept 19, 2015*.
This 3 mile walk will be organized by your own Branch members to take place in your own community in conjunction/cooperation with other social justice/civil rights groups you identify in your community. It is NEAC's plan to synchronize this walk so that all NEAC Branches will be begin at the same time, 10:00am, on Sat. Sept. 19, 2015. If you live outside of the EDT zone you can coordinate your Branch's walk to sync with the East Coast or schedule to begin at 10:00am your local time (that might look like the "Wave" as seen in crowds☺). 
 Contact your local area NAACP Branch if you'd like to help move a walk like this forward in your community.
For those living in the New England states stay tuned for more information over the next few days and weeks ahead about the NEAC Unity Walk for Justice.

In Solidarity with Million Moms March Sat. May 9, 2015

Amherst Town Common, Noon to 1:30pm

On Saturday, May 9th Million Moms March for Justice  10 AM -2 PM in DC.  See the Call to action.

Since many in our community would like to go but won't be able to those who'd like to can stand in solidarity:

Saturday, May 9th
Amherst Town Common
Noon to 1:30pm

Bring your own signs and sign-up to speak when you arrive on the Amherst Town Common.

For background information go to:
 Mothers for Justice United.  Founded by Maria Hamilton after the murder of her son Dontre by a Milwaukee police officer on April 30, 2014, we are a group of mothers whose children were taken from us by police and racist vigilante violence.  Together we fight for justice for our children and for our communities.

Please join as we take our fight to Washington this Mother's Day Weekend, May 9, 2015, in our Million Moms March.

150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution

You are invited to join us in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, a screening of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed biographical film “Lincoln,” will be held on Saturday, February 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Amherst Jones Library Woodbury Community Room.

"Lincoln" takes place during the final months of the life of President Abraham Lincoln and recounts the pivotal historical events of that era, including the passage of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, the ending of the Civil War, and Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.
“Lincoln,” received 12 Academy Award nominations in 2013, including Best Performance by a Lead Actor (Daniel Day Lewis), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Sally Field) and Achievement in Directing (Steven Spielberg).The screening will be preceded by remarks from local Amherst historian Dr. Robert H. Romer, the author of Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts. 

This program is free and open to the public.  


March against Police Violence 12-13

Greetings NAACP Leaders,

On Saturday, the 13th, the National Action Network and partnering organizations will hold a March against Police Violence in Washington DC. We are currently trying to estimate how many NAACP'ers will be participating in the March. 

If you or your branch plans to attend, please send me a quick email estimating how many people you will be bringing with you. If you are coming on a bus, please let me know how many buses you will be bringing and how many people you plan to carry on each. 

Send the email to: kmyles@naacpnet.org

Your rapid response will be most appreciated as we want to ensure that we are able to provide adequate support for our members who participate!

Thank you for all that you do!

Kevin Myles
National Field Director; East

We've learned the grand jury convened to investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown has chosen not to indict Officer Darren Wilson.

This is a devastating setback in our fight for justice. But the grand jury's decision does not mean a crime was not committed in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9. It does not mean we are done fighting for Michael Brown.

Sign our petition to the Department of Justice. Demand resolution to the federal, criminal civil rights investigation into Michael Brown's death. 

We are all filled with frustration, disbelief, and anger over this decision. That the officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man with his hands in the air remains free is appalling. Local officials in Ferguson utterly failed in their duties to conduct an open and transparent investigation.

The local prosecutor who oversaw the grand jury process has significant personal, family, and professional ties to the local police department—the same local police who were slow to talk to witnesses and eager to attack protesters and journalists.

We will not allow this to be another Sanford, Florida. We will not allow the justice system to let us down once more. Take action today, for Michael, and for all of our sons.

While the NAACP joins the community in standing for peaceful protest, we will hold law enforcement officials accountable and ask that they adhere to the rules of engagement agreed upon.

We stand united with the community and other activists groups, demanding that all police officers wear operable body cameras; police departments reflect the diversity of the community that they are serving; and that Congress passes the End Racial Profiling Act.

Sign our petition to the Department of Justice right now:


Thank you,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO