NAACP wants more student involvement in the community

Kyle Roerink

Chapter leaders stress giving back to others, promoting equality

The leaders of KSU-NAACP urged students to express their own voice within the community at a meeting last night.

The leaders of the Kent State chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said the purpose of the organization is to promote equality, eliminate antipathy, inform all individuals and educate blacks about their history.

During the first meeting of the semester, the group’s members introduced themselves and expressed why it is important to be involved with all organizations on campus, especially the NAACP.

After reciting a poem to those in attendance, Robin Wright, press and publicity chair for KSU-NAACP, said she joined the organization because of its objectives, mission statement and emphasis on education.

“I realized that the majority of the problems in the black community are because (of) a lack of education,” Wright said. “Not because you didn’t get your diploma, but that you’re not educated about where you came from.”

Avery Danage, a member of the NAACP and numerous other organizations on campus, said he joined the group to help the black community progress.

“I think it goes back to that whole thing of people don’t vote, but they complain a lot,” he said. “I feel like if I am going to complain about Kent, I might as well be involved and try to be a member in my community.”

As a 42-year-old sophomore, Lametris Joiner said she joined KSU-NAACP to help educate the children who take part in her non-profit organization that focuses on helping disadvantaged children.

“I am able to bring things back and empower the youth with education and culture,” she said. “I don’t just want to bring that to African-Americans; I want to bring it to the whole community.”

The organization’s president, Whitney Smith, said at first she thought being a member of KSU-NAACP would just be a resume builder.

“When I actually sat down at a meeting, I was just like ‘Whoa, they actually do work,'” Smith said. “They go to nationals, they go to conferences and they actually affect the community. You can see all of the work right in front of you.”

Involvement is the key, said George Garrison, professor of Pan-African Studies and KSU-NAACP adviser.

“If you don’t get involved, that means you will be the beneficiary of others who were involved and you will essentially have had a free ride,” he said. “You don’t want to go through life having a free ride. At some point you have to give back.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Kyle Roerink at [email protected].