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Gov. Cuomo Attends NAACP Conference & Commits to Fighting Discrimination

Gov Andrew Cuomo and Hazel Dukes (Photo Credit: Barry Mason)

Gov Andrew Cuomo and Hazel Dukes (Photo Credit: Barry Mason)

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo discussed racial discrimination, Staten Island NAACP President Edward C. Josey won the prestigious Eugene T. Reed Award and NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock urged community advocacy at the NAACP New York State Conference 78th Annual Convention from October 10-12 at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown.

“Our successful 78th convention theme NAACP: All In For Justice & Equality, captured the urgency about the ongoing battle for civil rights which continues to strive for equality for all,” stated Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference and National NAACP Board Member. “This year marks the milestone 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, issues still persists that confront our civil rights. The convention had panels with leading experts and government officials focusing on urgent issues concerning New York State’s African American communities including: economic stability, education, health, public safety, racial profiling, economic development, voting rights and political representation.”

At the convention, Governor Cuomo received the Champion of Change Award and discussed his inroads into prison reform, minority business development, equitable housing and fighting discrimination. “The truth is as we sit here tonight, discrimination is still alive in well in America and New York today,” he said. “Discrimination with a smile is much more insidious,” he said. “African Americans have twice the denial rate of white Americans when it comes to getting a mortgage. It’s the boss that denies a promotion based on the color of skin and not the character. It’s pervasive.”

Governor Cuomo pointed out that he has closed more prisons than any other governor in the history of New York State. “We lock up more people than any industrialized nation on the globe. This country has more African American males in prison, on probation or on parole than we had slaves in 1850. Just think about that,” he stated. “I would much rather have the $30,000 per year that we spend on a prison cell and pay tuition with that $30,000. So we have been reversing course. We’re closing juvenile justice facilities up north and we’re bringing young people back to the community. We have a “Save the Age” commission that is going to report by the end of the year so that we stop charging juveniles as adults.”

Edward C. Josey, President of the Staten Island NAACP Branch, received the prestigious Eugene T. Reed Award, presented by the NAACP New York State Conference for highest achievement and service. Josey, who has held the Staten Island position since 1997, is a retired customer service engineer. His work in Staten Island from scholarships to HIV/AIDS prevention has earned numerous awards. “In the weeks following the illegal chokehold and death of the Port Richmond father Eric Garner this summer, Mr. Josey and the NAACP Staten Island members were instrumental in working with community groups and city government in keeping the peace,” said Dukes. “They joined New York City NAACP officials in holding press conferences and peaceful protests and rallies in Staten Island and Harlem.”

Other award winners included the Effie Gordon Award for first place was received by Geoffrey E. Eaton, President of the Mid Manhattan NAACP and second place by Georgia Verdier, President of the Elmira/Corning NAACP. Special corporate awards were presented to R. Donald Peebles, The Peebles Corporation and JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank.

At the convention, there were NAACP New York State officials from teen-agers to senior citizens. There were approximately 50 presidents of NAACP New York State Conference branches and 13 young presidents of NAACP youth branches in attendence. Other officials included Congresswoman Nita Lowery of Rockland and Westchester Counties and Judge Laura D. Blackburne, chair, NAACP Crisis Magazine Board of Directors and host of “The Crisis Radio Show.”

Brock, chairman of the NAACP, pointed out the importance of NAACP officials serving their communities. “The work of the NAACP is serious business. You have to put it all on the line for those we serve,” she stressed. “You must be pro-active and reticent to deal with setbacks like we’ve had in recent months. The pressure might keep coming, but the NAACP will prevail.”

The national NAACP was established 105 years ago in New York City. The NAACP New York State Conference was coordinated 1936 and has 56 branches throughout the State of New York. For more information on the NAACP New York State Conference, please call 212-344-7474 or visit the website at www.nysnaacp.org.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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