ABOVE PHOTO: NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock and President Benjamin Jealous
Photo: NAACP photos
LOS ANGELES, CA– With her keynote address at the first Public Mass meeting of the 102nd Annual NAACP Convention, NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock set the tone for the coming year and implored the audience to go forward with courage in the fight for justice and equality. In just her second keynote address since her 2010 election, Brock laid out three areas of focus for the NAACP: the economy, health care and education.
“Three critical systems that should add quality and stability to the lives of all Americans are in trouble: our economic system, our health insurance system, and our education system,” stated Brock during her address. “We are all concerned about many issues, but without fortifying these fundamental systems of community well-being, the others may not matter.”
On the economy, Brock deplored the disproportionately high black unemployment rate and called for a more equitable economic system to close the wealth gap. She praised the work of the NAACP Financial Freedom Center in empowering citizens with financial tools and education.
Brock called on NAACP members to rally behind a strong universal health care system, and support Medicaid and Medicare as politicians try to defund them. She highlighted the Health Department’s work in sounding the alarm on childhood obesity and the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Finally, Brock reaffirmed the NAACP’s commitment to a quality education for all children. She recalled that public education, and the struggle against segregation, has been at the forefront of the NAACP’s mission since its inception.
Brock is the youngest person and fourth woman to hold the position of NAACP Chairman. Her speech was preceded by an address from California Governor Jerry Brown.
Brock ended her speech with a call to courage: “It will take courage to do what is right, and I believe at this hour, this generation who sits in the board room when our parents sat in the mailroom; this generation, who sleeps in hotel suites when our parents merely swept the streets; this generation, who drives Bentleys, Porsches, Mercedes and Jags, when their parents had nothing but filthy rags; courage will not skip this generation! If you remember nothing else, remember this: the future is calling – and with courage, the NAACP will answer!”