ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Black leaders across Pennsylvania went virtual for a “Day of Advocacy.” The online conversation hit some heavy topics from institutional racism and police brutality. The goal of this day-long conversation was to encourage local communities to have tough conversations about diversity.
“We want an equal reality here. We’re not a threat to you or anything, we don’t want any special favors, we just want an even playing field,” says Philadelphia NAACP President, Rodney Muhammad.
In a zoom conference that lasted about 12 hours, leaders from the Pennsylvania Chapter of National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) shared their thoughts on a range of topics that changed almost every hour. They discussed topics from police reform to advocating for black communities.
Johnstown NAACP President, Alan Cashaw believes education and communication are the best ways to break racial barriers. Cashaw says “it will become part of their behavior and their lives and that will deescalate their anxiety of confronting people of color whatever the issue is.” He says observing celebrations like Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month play an important role in educating Pennsylvania communities. And Blair County’s NAACP President, Don Witherspoon agrees. He tells us “it’s an ongoing process but I think we’re headed in the right direction but I think we need more communication with local law enforcement.”
The NAACP State Conference Day of Advocacy coincides with Blackout Tuesday, an economic protest calling on black people and allies in America not to spend any money on Tuesday unless its towards a black owned business.