Our monthly meetings are held via Zoom at present and generally occur every third Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The link for the May 18 meeting is below.
Topic: Community Coalition for Social Justice May Meeting
Time: May 18, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 816 6418 8435
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Meeting ID: 816 6418 8435
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Community Coalition for Social Justice/Dismantling Racism Together Community Forum
On February 3, 2021, at 7:00 PM via Zoom, there was a Community Forum to talk about ideas for Dismantling Racism.
Dismantling Racism Together is a small group of people who came together last fall with energy to seek ways to combat systemic racism in our community. Through monthly Zoom meetings, members have been learning about racism and specifically how the NAACP and ACLU approach the topic. After learning about CCSJ’s broad community reach, having an information gathering community forum was suggested.
Simply put, we hope the meeting will be a time for participants to share what is on their racism-related agenda, identify local examples of systemic racism and, if there is sufficient energy, test the waters to identify/prioritize an initiative. At a minimum, we would identify areas for dismantling work and learn of the allies in the community.
The following topical areas are suggested for the agenda:
1. identify local examples of systemic racism,
2. what is on the racism-related agenda of other participants,
3. what are others, not present, doing to combat systemic racism, and,
4. identify/prioritize an initiative.
Susan Brown and Sandra Nelms submitted the a letter to the Dominion Post to show our support for the proposed Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board. It was printed on February 26th and can be seen here.
CCSJ and Dismantling Racism Together hosted a Zoom gathering with over 60 people in attendance! The report from that event has been distributed to the email lists of CCSJ and Dismantling Racism Together, as well as to all those who attended. It is also posted here.
CCSJ has received a grant of $2,000 from the FirstEnergy Foundation to support our work. We thank Elizabeth Durr, who works in the Regional External Affairs office, for her initiative in making this possible and will keep everyone posted as we decide how to use this generous gift.
This took place on January 18th, 2021 via Zoom. The theme was “West Virginia Civil Rights Leaders.” It was co-sponsored with the WVU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Main Street Morgantown, and the Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP, and we thank them for their great help.
Ilene Evans provided a virtual portrayal of West Virginian Memphis Tennessee Garrison as our featured event for the day. According to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, “Teacher and civic activist Memphis Tennessee Carter (March 3, 1890-July 25, 1988) was born in Hollins, Virginia... she grew up in the southern West Virginia coalfields...
"Garrison graduated from Bluefield State College in 1939. She taught school in McDowell County and also served as a welfare worker for the U.S. Steel Company in Gary, its company town. In this latter capacity, she helped to settle racial disputes, provided counseling to black miners and their families, and developed cultural and recreational opportunities for residents of the area.
"Garrison was active with the Republican Party and with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She helped to develop and sustain chapters of the NAACP in southern West Virginia, and served as a national vice president and as a field secretary who undertook special organizing and membership activities. One of her most important achievements was the creation of the Christmas Seal Project, which became an important fund-raising effort for the NAACP.” The photo is from e-WV here.
We are pleased that The Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP invited DeMarcus Bandy to participate in our program as their representative. His presentation was on “Structural and Systemic Racism and How to Build an Equitable Future.” DeMarcus is a 13-year-old 8th grader at Mountaineer Middle School. He participates in the TAG program and is a member of the Varsity basketball and track teams. He aspires to be a robotics engineer in the future. That was his 3rd year participating in this event. The WVNews published an article about DeMarcus and his talk. Go here to see it.
We will also welcomed Hope Koehler singing the African-American spiritual “Hold on” and “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” Dr. Barbara Howe gave a presentation on West Virginia's Civil Rights Leaders: download here for the PDF version. And the Morgantown Mayor, Ron Dulaney, and the President of the Morgantown/Kingwood Branch of the NAACP, Dr. Jerry Carr Jr., each gave short speeches: see YouTube video.
We appreciate the financial support from the City of Morgantown for this program.
We have submitted our funding request to the City of Morgantown for funding for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 2022 and signed a contract with the Metropolitan Theatre with the hope that we can all gather again there next year. Please let us know if you have ideas as we begin to plan this event.
For several years, the City of Morgantown provided funds for us to purchase library books focused on social justice issues for the Morgantown Public Library on Spruce Street. With funds from the Appalachian Community Foundation, we also purchased books for the Clinton District and Clay-Battelle Branch Libraries. Most of these are books for children. The library has added some of these at the Arnettsville branch.
The lists for have been updated and are available now here. There are two lists. One is exclusively books focused on African Americans. The other list includes our former environmental justice and economic justice lists. There is an index on page 3 of the “catalog” that includes links to the various topics so that you can easily find something that might interest you.The library is now open enough that people can order books and pick them up curbside. For more information on this procedure, please go here.
Please send your web site suggestions to Mike Attfield at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact any of the steering committee members to volunteer to help and to share your suggestions for our work or e-mail us at email@example.com. Please send items to share with our membership to Barb Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also remember to send your dues - $10 for individuals and $25 for organizations – to CCSJ, PO Box 160, Morgantown, WV 26507-0160. You can join or donate by credit card via PayPal on this web site. Go to Join Us.