What a tragedy Mass Incarceration has become. If you are Black and have a male child born after 2001, he has a 1 in 3 chance of spending time in prison. I fit that demographic as my wife and I have a beautiful 12-year-old boy. Please help us keep Xavier out of prison. We must do what we can to heal our community and to end Mass Incarceration, but we must work together if we are going to effect change.
With this understanding, I am pleased to announce that Straight Talk Support Group at NCCU is formally a student organization at NCCU, that our initial student leaders are in place, and that we will begin our bi-weekly program on September 21, 2017. We will meet once in September and then twice a month thereafter. We need your support, and we need committed student leaders. The purpose of Straight Talk Support Group at NCCU is to listen, inform, support, and empower the NCCU community about issues arising from mass incarceration.
Credit goes to Shaakira Gill, a Social Work major, for taking the initiative to complete the necessary paperwork to create Straight Talk Support Group at NCCU. Additionally, Ms. Gill has also attended meetings required by the university for all student organizations. Some of you may recall that Ms. Gill met with faculty during the summer as we organized Straight Talk and planned activities for the school year. We are very grateful for her important contribution.
Our charter officers were selected recently. Ms. Gill will be serving as Secretary. Corey Hamilton, a History major, is President. Our Vice President is Kiana Knight. Ms. Knight is also a History Major. Essam (pronounced E som) LaBoone, an Education Major, is Treasurer. We have a strong cadre of student leaders as our charter officers. We will create a web presence where their biographical information will be posted so that you can read about them. Our officers have already had their first meeting and have begun laying out plans for the semester. Much of the work of Straight Talk at NCCU will be done in standing committees. We will need students to work in those committees. For instance, the officers have already discussed Angel Tree and have other exciting ways that students can be actively engaged.
The first public meeting will be held on Thursday, September 21. The time and location will be announced early this week. Meetings will be held in the evening. During the summer we created a tentative program of activities, which I have attached to this email. At our first meeting, we will introduce the new organization to the NCCU community, seek members from among the students in attendance, and show the film 13th. Please come and lend your expertise to our open discussions.
Again, please be on the look out for the location and time for the meeting. Thank you.
Charles D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History and
Director of the Public History Program