Statement from NC NAACP Newly Elected President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman
October 12, 2017
God has spoken! Let the movement say, Amen. It is with the highest joy emanating from my heart, the deepest love arising from my soul and the sincerest respect anchored in my spirit for the entire membership of the NC NAACP that I pen these words.
If I had to sum up my present state of being in three words, those words would be, “I am grateful.” Grateful that the delegation has voted me into the Presidency; grateful that my predecessor and friend, the Right Reverend William J. Barber II President – Emeritus, has left the state conference in such a good place, spiritually, morally, fiscally; and grateful that so many are responding to the mantra, “Forward Together, Not One Step Back.” This state conference is woke, and we ain’t skerd.
As I campaigned across this state conducting listening sessions as often as I could, I tuned into ways the servant called the State Conference can improve its service to the willing workers that make up her branches. Along with Dr. Terrance Ruth, our Executive Director, one of our goals is to ensure that the branches are nourished and nurtured. This may result in regional meetings that will occur at specified times during the year.
We pray that you would always bear in mind the five-point justice vision that we are fighting to achieve, which includes
- Pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability;
- Educational equality that ensures that every child receives a high-quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education;
- Healthcare for all by enduring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and by providing environmental protection;
- Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown, and poor white people;
- Protect and expand voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law.
God’s Word compels us to fight this battle defending poor, disenfranchised, and needy people. We are obligated to create effective strategies to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all people. As such, we must defeat the forces of race based discrimination and religion based bigotry. Pursuing victories on these battlefields must be the order of each day.
Among other issues, Criminal Justice Reform must remain a priority. This State Conference must prevent entering into a state of rest until Dontae Sharpe is set free. We must be vigilant, even reaching back to pull Glen Edward Chapman and others who have been released but not exonerated, from receding to the margins because their paperwork got bogged down on the desk of the governor’s office since Beverly Perdue’s administration.
We will continue to stand with our Latino sisters and brothers by protecting and expanding immigration rights; stand and push health care reform and stand and deplore ecological devastation.
Forward Together! Not One Step Back.
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman