By JOHN KOPP
CHESTER — Delores Shelton sat behind a table at Chester High School April 15, helping eligible students register to vote.
A member of the Chester NAACP, Shelton said it’s a routine the organization has conducted there for more than 20 years.
She and her husband, John Shelton Sr., the branch’s former president, were just about to pack up when Principal Dr. Darla Hammond told them they had to “cease and desist,” she said.
“We packed up our things and she literally showed us to the door,” said Shelton, noting Hammond indicated the orders had come from higher-ranking administrators. “A child was trying to get her attention, (but) she had to make sure that we left the building. The only thing we were doing was letting the children practice their civil rights — and this is the right of all citizens who will be 18 by election day.”
Shelton said she was shocked and expressed her frustrations at the Chester Upland School Board meeting Thursday. There, board President Wanda Mann read a statement informing Shelton and the NAACP that outside organizations must gain permission from district administrators before hosting events on school premises.
“Unfortunately, no one from the NAACP asked the leadership of Chester Upland for permission to enter one of our schools for voter registration purposes,” Mann said. “Had they notified us of their desire to conduct such an event, we would have tried our best to accommodate them.
“We cannot run a district where organizations, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, have unrestricted access to our schools throughout the course of the school day.”
Shelton said the NAACP set up its voter registration session by contacting Hammond. She said the NAACP has held about two such sessions each year ever since her husband began the events more than 20 years ago. Shelton said the NAACP had never run into problems, noting the organization has also held voter education classes.
Despite the district’s familiarity with the NAACP, Mann said it must follow the district’s procedures.
“The NAACP is an important organization and we value the work that they do,” Mann said in her statement Thursday. “As a professional organization, I am sure the NAACP can understand the significance of protocol and proper procedure, especially where... [ READ MORE ]
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
As many of you know, I've been hosting a new monthly art and music event called Friday Night Live at the Community Arts Center (where I work). The first two months have been great. We've had great bands, great artists and great audiences. This month is particularly special for me, as I'll be performing with my band, Live Remedy. The band plays primarily reggae, with our take on some jazz tunes thrown in for fun. This band brings together musicians who I've played with in various groups over the years, including my musical mentor, Paul Brion. This will be our first performance featuring dancers. My wife, Andrea, and two other dancers will be performing with us for a number of the tunes. I'm thrilled to present the show, which has been in the works for some time. I'd love to see you there. Particulars are listed below.
Peace and Blessings
What: Friday Night Live
When: This Friday, April 29th, 7-10pm
Band: Live Remedy
Featured Artist: Willis "Nomo" Humphrey (painting sold by silent auction throughout the night)
Digital drawings by: Drew Arata (drawings projected for real-time viewing)
Where: Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086
BYOB. 17 and over to enter, 21 and over to bring or consume alcohol.
Light refreshments served. Bring your dinner if you like.
$10 at door or in advance.
Tickets available at: http://www.communityartscenter.org/2011-friday-night-live
Saturday, April 23, 2011
So what the heck is NOI training you ask? Good question. LOL Nah all jokes aside. NOI (New Organization Institute) is the organization that trains organizers to be more organized. At least in theory :) So...four brave young men and myself took the training in preparation for one of the largest green conferences in our nation called POWER SHIFT! Here are some photos we took while attending the training in DC from April 2-4. Hope ya diggs 'em.
|Angel Pabon listens closely during a workshop break out session. We spent our time in this one room from 9:00AM-9:30PM on the first day. YIKES!|
|From left to right you see Seth, Matt,Sean,Chris,Angel and Connor. Together they form SUPER GROUP! YA HYPE!|
|SUPER GROUP pretending to be focused. LOL|
|Hey is that a foot soldier from the dark side sitting in on our training?|
|Oh my bad. It's just David!|
|Andrew Munn takes notes like a studious facilitator should :) Andrew organizes against Mountain Top removal down in West Virginia.|
|We met a lot of cool people and hung out with some of them like Ryan.|
|Organizers all over the country were training simultaneously with us in the mid Atlantic Region.|
|From left to right Ryan,Angel,Matt,David,Sarah,Chris and myself (Desire) behind the camera. There are tons of more pictures I could share on this trip but it would take forever.|
|Angel in the shade. On our last day after two days of 12 hour training we chilled at the Smithsonian and drank overpriced water and coffee.|
|The art museums were spectacular. Too many pictures to share for this one as well.|
|And now we are prepared to fight the GREEN fight of faith back home. GO GO POWER GREEN-ers!|