Standing Committees of the Columbus NAACP
Committess are a chance to make the greatest impact today in our shared community, and where you can make your mark for generations to come. We have many standing and ad-hoc committees to address the breadth of issues and opportunities to advance our mission. Click through to see more details of each committee.
Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technology, and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) Committee
With ACT-SO, the NAACP is providing an instrument through which African-American youth are encouraged and inspired toward excellence in academic and cultural pursuits. ACT-SO is a powerful instrument to maximize the support of our local community, treating African-American scholastic and cultural achievement with the same respect that we give to heroes.
We administer academic, cultural, technological, and cultural programs by mobilizing the adult community in Columbus. Through these programs, we train, motivate, and reward high school students for excellence in academic and cultural pursuits. This is the local execution of a major program of the national organization, ACT-SO, often referred to as the “Olympics of the Mind”. The local competition showcases the students’ hard work and qualifies winners to compete in the National Competition for prizes and scholarship awards.
Armed Services and Veteran Affairs Committee
We seek to establish a working relationship with local agencies in government having the responsibility in the affairs of members of the various Armed Services (Active military, Reserves, State National Guard) and Veterans and to see that the programs to which they are responsible are administered fairly and justly to members of the minority community.
One of our most critical roles is to receive and act on all complaints relative to acts of discrimination on account of race, color, creed, or denial of benefits to which they are entitled because of discrimination. We also help by studying conditions, maintaining a repository of materials and forms, and serving as a center of information pertaining to veterans and members of the Military Service and their dependents and/or survivors in the community.
Communications, Press and Publicity
We actively seek to place stories and thought leaders in the local media as well as in the NAACP magazine THE CRISIS about our branch, mission, goals, activities, people, and progress. In conjunction with that work, we monitor media and advertising performance and look for opportunities to elevate the conversation around our focus issues while counteracting derogatory or erroneous statements in the local news about Blacks and other minority groups.
In addition to our work on earned, we champion equity, equality, and representation of Black minority ownership, control of print and electronic media, and access to employment in the communications arts and sciences industries across all media formats. We track local businesses engaged in these industries and share research and data with the National Office, and work to ensure that all people have a meaningful right to choose from and have access to a variety of high-quality telecommunications goods and services at a reasonable cost.
The goal of the Economic Development Committee is to assess, explore and determine the economic needs of the Black community and the factors that impact growth, wealth, and access to capital for economic development and sustainability for today and tomorrow. We implement local efforts to expand economic empowerment among Blacks and other communities of color. We aim to inspire our members to advance, contribute and drive economic access, development, and prosperity within and out of the organization to become the change we seek and need for our people.
Our work champions improving positive school culture, high quality teaching for all students, stimulating school attendance and promoting parental involvement in education.We work to increase resource equity and targeting resources to the neediest students, enabling them to access a more challenging curriculum, ensuring that Black and other students of color are on the path to high school graduation, with college and/or career readiness for success after high school
Our committee seeks to eliminate discriminatory practices in public education, including investigating the public school system and keeping informed of school conditions to correct abuses where found.
We also focus on improving opportunities for teacher development within our school communities and promoting the integration of multicultural and multilingual curriculum into public schools. In addition to teacher certification, we monitor the effects of standardized and high stakes testing practices and study local educational conditions and materials that might be racially derogatory, affecting minority groups.
Environmental and Climate Justice Committee
The Committee on Environmental Climate Justice educates and mobilizes our community to address the disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color in Cincinnati. We focus on three essential areas.
Led by the Treasurer in collaboration with the President and Secretary, the Finance Committee ensures that the finances of the branch are in order, studies the financial needs of the branch, and works with the executive committee to draft an adequate annual budget. To ensure transparency, the financials are presented to the membership at our monthly meeting.
The Freedom Fund Committee plans and conducts fund-raising activities, entertainment, and other projects for local and national purposes within the scope of the program, working closely with the Finance Committee. Our efforts help underwrite various advocacy programs and activities. Our largest initiative and event of the year is the Freedom Fund Dinner, which includes an array of awards, entertainment, and a phenomenal keynote speaker.
On the Health Committee, we work to promote, protect and maintain the health of African Americans and advocate for equal access to health education, care, treatment, and research for all Americans. We sponsor health-related activities, such as health forums, fairs, and workshops highlighting issues of importance to Blacks and other people of color, and assess the health needs of our community.
Housing is one of the areas where we see ongoing inequity, discrimination, restrictive practices, and the need for assistance within the community. Our committee takes it on.
In addition to actively receiving and seeking to address specific complaints of discrimination, we broadly advocate access to affordable housing and combat housing discrimination by fighting to eliminate restrictive housing practices in public and private housing and lending practices. We also study housing conditions in the local community, disseminating information and assistance which may eliminate discrimination in housing.
The Committee on Labor and Industry works to eliminate discriminatory employment practices in industry and government, wage differentials based on race, unequal opportunities for training, promotion and unfair dismissals. We encourage greater participation in the trade union movement and work to end discriminatory practices in labor unions. And we secure the enactment of state and federal fair employment practices legislation; and we work for improved opportunities in vocational and apprenticeship training.
Legal Redress Committee
The Legal Redress Committee investigates reported cases, supervises litigation of interest, and shares progress on every case with the Columbus Branch and the National Office. We connect to other community-based organizations who can assist the local chapter in helping those who reach out to us, and can create a pathway for up-and-coming attorneys to view community needs and develop new ways of assisting.
The Membership Committee works throughout the year to maintain and increase membership of the Association. We are responsible for planning and organizing the annual membership campaign, soliciting new members and securing renewals. We work creatively to initiate all possible means to obtain Life Members and sponsor a continuing program towards this end.
The Political Action Committee works for the enactment of municipal and state legislation designed to improve the educational, political, and economic status of minority groups, and seeks the repeal of racially discriminatory legislation. The committee works to improve the administration of justice and secure equal enforcement of the law. And finally, we keep the National Office and the Unit informed of all proposed legislation that affects minority groups.
We are nonpartisan and do not endorse candidates for public office.
The PrisonJail Branch Support Committee works closely and directly with the members of our respective Prison Branch and the Regional Prison Coordinator. We build, cultivate, and maintain positive relationships between prison officials, Prison Branch members and members within the local Branch.
We actively solicit community organizations and businesses to establish a volunteer bank (teachers, writers, poets, business people, ministers, lawyers, policemen, judges, government officials, politicians, media personnel) to assist the Prison Branch in carrying out its programs, and aid the Prison Branch in organizing and planning parliamentary procedure workshops, leadership training sessions and other seminars. We also help the Prison Branch in planning and scheduling its annual awards banquet by contacting prospective guest speakers and making sure items needed for the ceremony are made available in a timely fashion.
Additionally, we meet with local business people, companies and corporations to discuss Targeted Job Tax Credit Programs and to persuade prospective employers to consider the advantages of hiring ex-offenders. We encourage and facilitate employers to interview the inmate while still incarcerated. We interview all Prison Branch members when they are within 90-180 days of their parole hearings to assess what types of offender reentry programs may be most beneficial to them upon their release.
Finally, we maintain for two years a careful and accurate “follow up” file on those ex-offenders placed in jobs secured through the assistance of the NAACP. The purpose of these records will be to compare the NAACP recidivism rate to the national average (70%) and thus compute yearly savings in public tax dollars.
Religious Affairs Committee
The Religious Affairs Committee includes ministerial and lay religious leaders who are also members. We promote an educational program designed to give moral and ethical interpretation to the civil rights struggle. We actively interpret the work of the Association to organized religious groups of all faiths, enlist the support of such organized religious groups for membership, fundraising, and the struggle for equality and full civil rights, and provide resource assistance for religious education and social action activities associated with the improvement of race relations.
The NAACP believes strongly that future leaders must be developed today, and such development is ongoing in the Youth & College Division, created in 1936. Today there are more than 25,000 young people, under the age of 25, representing 550 Junior Youth Councils, Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters actively involved in the fight for civil rights. The NAACP has one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country.
The NAACP Youth and College Division is supporting the development of future civil rights leaders today. Resources for unit health and training advancement are available for Youth and College member units across the country. Everything from quarterly reports, compliance checklists, directory lists, trainings and elections material.
Students have always been at the forefront of most major social movements. From the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s to the anti-apartheid movement of the 1980’s, student activism has forced society and the world to change. NAACP youth units across America are engaged in social justice activism addressing issues at the local, state and national level. The primary focus issues for the Division are the following:
Women in NAACP) Committee
The purpose of WIN is to enhance the leadership role of women, serve as an advocacy vehicle to address the social, economic, political, educational, health and welfare issues affecting women; advocate for the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual development of children, and support the policies as well as the ongoing mission and vision of the NAACP.