Yes, we are about to enter a new millennium; another thousand years. But, are we ready? Are we ready as American citizens? Are we ready as African-American citizens? This is a question only you can answer for yourself. I just hope we all take the month of December to reflet; to think of what we, as individuals, have done to make this country a better place to live. Then lets think of how we can start next year, the Year 2000, by doing all we can to make this country a better place for all of us to live.
African Americans have contributed a lot to the building of America. But there is still much to do. We must start by doing a better job of keeping our children informed of our contributions to America and the world. They must know the truth about Africa, our motherland. They must be taught the truth about slavery; not the whitewashed version taught in most schools. It is our responsibility to teach our children about our history.
Then, let us promise to be responsible for the education of our children by "whatever means necessary". We are allowing our children to be miss-educated in New Jersey. It is criminal what is happening to our children in the education system in this state. African American children are suspended unfairly from school at an alarming rate. A child can not learn if she/he is not allowed to remain in the classroom. Our children are unnecessarily classified, while those who truly need special assistance are not afforded the opportunity. We have police in our schools today. Our children are being arrested in school for offenses that should be handled by school administrators, not the police.
Health awareness has to be on the top of our list of concerns next year. African Americans are more likely to die from almost every major disease than any other ethnic group in this country. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS Most of these diseases can be prevented. Lets first promise to keep our bodies healthy and carry the message of health awareness throughout the African American community.
We have the critically important Presidential and Senatorial Elections in the year 2000. The NAACP has been the leading advocate for full voter participation by people of color. This year the New Brunswick Area Branch of the NAACP will wage a massive voter registration, education and mobilization campaign. We believe "a voteless people is a hopeless people"; but we refuse to believe we are hopeless in New Jersey. Mr. Jeffrey Sampson will lead our Voter Empowerment Campaign. Please contact him at our branch office if you want to assist.
Finally, we must be counted in Census 2000. The NAACP has developed a partnership with the US Census Bureau to help in the goal of a complete census. Ms. Ronita Barber will head our Census 2000 initiative. Please contact her if you have any questions regarding the census.
I want to personally invite you to the 1999 NAACP Annual Meeting to be held on Monday, December 20, at 7:30 PM. We will distribute our Annual Report and a representative from Census 2000 will talk about why we should be counted in the 2000 census. Also, a representative from NJ Citizen Action to talk about energy deregulation.
I thank you for your continued support of the NAACP and look forward to working with you in the Year 2000. Happy Holiday and God Bless!
Yours in the Struggle,
Wandra L. Ashley-Williams,
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