-- FOUNDED February 12, 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. More than half-million members throughout the United States and the World are advocates for civil rights in their communities.
-- BECAUSE . . . The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing horrific practices of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield. Appalled at the violence that was committted against blacks, a call meeting was called to discuss racial justice and among the 60 people, seven of whom were African American (W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett & Mary Church Terrell).
-- THE MISSION . . . of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
-- THE VISION . . . of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.
-- PUEBLO BRANCH NAACP CHARTERED on October 18, 1918
An executive authorization was issued to charter the Pueblo Branch of the NAACP. The first officers were Charles H. Holmes, president; Mrs. J.S. Young, vice president; Mrs. Beulah P. Baker, secretary; and Eugene J. Kittrell, treasurer.
At the time the Pueblo and Denver NAACP Branches worked closely as they fought for civil rights and civic engagement. As with membership in the past, we, today, strive for the advancement of civil rights and equality of all people.
The Pueblo Branch has established partnerships with local and national organizations that share similar ideologies as they relate to affecting equity and justice for All People. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the Juneteenth Organization, Pueblo African American Concerned Organization (PAACO), Pueblo Ministerial Fellowship, Eureka Lodge #2, El Pueblo History Museum, Pueblo City Police and Fire Departments, the Human Relations Commission, Pueblo City Council, Pueblo County Commissioners, the Mayor's Office, and many other organizations and associations.
Working together allows us to be more successful in affecting the results we seek. In 2018, the Pueblo Branch supported the Pueblo City School District 60 teacher's strike, by picketing alongside the teachers and paraprofessionals for better wages and improved relations. We feel "Better Schools Equal a Better Community,” which is one of the National Game Changers. The Branch also took part in an editorial visit with the Pueblo Chieftain, along with The Bell Policy Center, regarding Proposition 111, Pay Day Loans. The Branch also supported Amendment A, amending wording in the Colorado constitution, removing “Slavery.”
We adopted the National campaign theme of: "Defeat Hate. Vote!" The Branch is committed to doing our part in ensuring the community's vote is cast and counted. The Branch partnered with the League of Women Voters of Pueblo, co-sponsoring election debates, political forums, and voter registration. We hosted Cherry Rose Anderson, our State Conference Chair for Civic Engagement, emphasizing the importance of registering to vote, but more importantly, VOTING!
The Branch established a community picnic in the park, sharing resources and food. This event will become an annual event in July, in recognition of Mary Jane Neal, a member who was very active in our Branch. We continue to co-sponsor the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Luncheon. We also assisted with recruitment for both the Police and Fire Departments, sitting in on interview panels for both departments, and seeing the first African American firefighter complete the Firefighter Academy.
The Branch celebrated our Centennial year in 2019, bringing our Senior Vice President, Hilary Shelton, to speak at the Freedom Fund Banquet.
We are actively improving procedures to run the Branch more efficiently and productively. We began the year, co-sponsoring the Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Luncheon with the Pueblo Ministerial Fellowship. We sponsored a School Safety panel discussion, in response to the Highlands Ranch school shooting, with major players from both school districts, Police and Sheriff Departments, the District Attorney’s Office, community activists, and students.
We participated in the Juneteenth Program and the CSU-P Student Involvement Festival, sponsored a Health Fair and a Community Cookout, and participated in the NAACP State Convention.
The Pueblo Branch is committed to be present in the community, proactive in sharing information, responsive to events that may happen, and being the voice of Social Justice and Civil Rights.