UM NAACP chapter to build future leaders of color

The newly founded UM chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is hitting the ground running by planning various functions including upcoming events, outreach initiatives, fundraisers and collaboration efforts during their first meeting on Aug. 28.

“As the very first division of NAACP at UM, we want our club to be a place where all who share the common goals of both combating the plight, as well as advancing and stimulating colored people,” said sophomore Stephen Ewing, president of the NAACP chapter at UM.

Florida State University, Florida International University, the University of Florida and many other colleges and universities across the state already have NAACP chapters, but UM is the latest to start its own.

“I am pleased that there will be a college chapter at UM,” said Brad Brown, vice president of the Miami-Dade branch of NAACP. “Given the current situation in the country where civil rights are being attacked, it is very important that college students become involved in this organization on their campuses and around the community as well.”

Brown said that one of the goals of UM’s NAACP is to eradicate the “Stand Your Ground” Florida law. It also operates at the national level on a variety of civil issues.

Organizers of the UM chapter of NAACP said that, as a school organization, the chapter will be geared toward service and fostering a more caring relationship amongst peers and minorities as a whole.

“We aspire to collaborate with students who are passionate about civil activism and making a difference beyond our campus borders,” said Ewing, a business technology major.

Club leaders discussed the formation of small committees within the organization in order to handle specific subject matters such as environmental justice, juvenile outreach, and finance and charity services, among others.

The chapter’s vice president, Miles Pendleton, said the club noticed that many students of color and other backgrounds were not connected enough on campus.

“We wanted to create a central body in which we can all come together in order to combat black injustices and issues,” said Pendleton, a sophomore majoring in Africana studies, political science, sociology, and criminology. “We are a very diverse campus, however, by creating this chapter it will help create a common ground for students to engage and speak about similar experiences and concerns as people of color.”

In addition to obtaining insight behind the NAACP, prospective members were able to ask questions and register for club updates.

“I decided to join this club because I really want to make a change, not only on the University of Miami’s campus but beyond,” said Dill Scott, a freshman health science major. “There’s a lot of people struggling within the black community and around our city. I feel that the NAACP will allow me to engage in community service and give back to those who need it the most.”

UM students can become involved within the organization either through OrgSync or by registering with the executive board.

“In the NAACP, we believe that colored people come in all colors,” Brown said.