Mark Staszkiewicz, professor in the Department of Educational and School Psychology, delivered the keynote speech at the NAACP Indiana County branch’s 27th annual Freedom Fund banquet.
The banquet was held at the Holiday Inn in White Township on November 9, 2013.
Staszkiewicz said that, for him, the take-away is that, as the country moves further into the 21st century, “we must be cognizant of the differences between desegregation and integration; between non-discrimination and affirmative action; and between anti-hate and true acceptance.”
He explained that “we must help each other not by simply eliminating negative behaviors, but by encouraging positive behaviors.”
Staszkiewicz believes that our challenge for civil rights in the 21st century is “to move from removing barriers to building pathways” and “to use all of the tools at our disposal to address the important issues” at hand. These issues include the achievement gap in public schools and disparities in health care access.
The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination in addition to ensuring a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. The NAACP attempts to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes, to seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights, to inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination, and to educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP's Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.
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