The Progressive NAACP is organizing events for Black History Month.
The lives of African-American men and women who have left their marks on the world are being celebrated as Black History Month kicks off next week.
The Progressive National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Temple plays a key role in galvanizing future generations through bi-weekly meetings and community outreaches.
The Progressive NAACP was chartered 20 years ago at Temple. President Ann Weaver Hart asked the Progressive NAACP to host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the Temple Performing Arts Center.
“The overall response to the MLK event was fantastic,” Satia Koroma, the president of the Progressive NAACP said. “To be able to formulate a connection between NAACP and the Temple University Administration in honor of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was powerful.”
Koroma added the event spoke to Dr. King’s vision of diversity celebration rather than cultural division as a tool of ridicule.
“It was a great pleasure to have the support of many of our elected officials,” Koroma said.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell was in attendance to sign his last official document as governor.
The Progressive NAACP opens its membership to everyone, regardless of their race, religion or socioeconomic status. Within the Progressive NAACP there are six committees: membership, education, political action, press and publicity, community service and juvenile justice.
Temple’s Progressive NAACP works closely with the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP, located on Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
“Temple’s Progressive NAACP is the only youth empowerment unit in the nation,” Rev. Elisha Morris, the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, said. “This speaks volumes of what we can do within Temple and beyond.”
Morris serves as the youth and state adviser – a position he has had for the last six years. He added the Progressive NAACP has done cutting-edge work and has been used for other organizations around the state.
“We want to keep everyone talking on all levels,” Morriz said. “We are that type of organization.”
From Feb. 6-12, the Progressive NAACP will celebrate Black History Month along with other Temple organizations.
“[Black History Month] was organized by the office of multicultural affairs,” said Jessica Reed, the Progressive NAACP president of the state youth and college division. “However, the annual event eventually came to a halt when no one would take on the responsibility to organize it. I had so much fun at the event, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t die down.”
The Progressive NAACP will celebrate Black History Month with 23 other Temple organizations on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
In Room 200BC of the Student Center, there will be a live and interactive museum, presenting the lives and works of individuals of African descent from the past, present and future. The program will not only reach out to the Temple community, but to high school students across Philadelphia.
“We can celebrate differences because everyone is celebrating together,” Reed said.
Priscilla Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.