As we end 2016, we pause to consider how much have we emancipated?
How have we advanced in procuring economic and social rights, and equality for all who have been disenfranchised?
Emancipation Day is a holiday celebrated by some to mark the end of the Atlantic slave trade, but also President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation announcing that all slaves still in rebellion in confederate territory were freed.
The first Secretary-General of International Institute of Human Rights was Karel Vasak.
A university professor, Vasak wrote a theory of Three Generations of Human Rights: the first generation includes political involvement such as voting rights, rights to fair trials, and freedom of speech.
As our national community continues to ensure these rights to all of its inhabitants, the Liberty County NAACP will focus on economic, social and cultural rights in 2017.
Our legal system’s enforcement mechanisms are strongest in civil and political rights, and violation of such is considered more serious than that of economic, social and cultural rights.
There are few that focus on these rights and there are few lawyers who have the knowledge and/or experience to defend these rights.
ESC rights are less likely than civil and political rights to be protected.
It is the Liberty County NAACP 2017 plans to focus on the latter of Vasak’s theory, the ESC rights.
For many years we have placed more focus on civil and political rights and we have done well to do so.
During this year of emancipation, we can celebrate our civil and political achievements. But we have little to celebrate when it comes to our economic, social and cultural rights.
While it is believed that all human rights are said to be “equal, indivisible, interrelated and interdependent,” the monitoring, enforcement and implementation framework for ESC rights is less advanced than that of civil and political rights.
Liberty County NAACP will continue to facilitate the conversation for inclusive economic, (legislatively, etc.) social and cultural rights for all, being an agency of trust and a voice for the people.
We believe the authority of government derives from the voice of the people, and is limited by a body of elected official and fundamental laws.
These ideas, attitudes and patterns — according to analysts — are derived from “a dynamic political and historical process rather than from a static body.”
This suggests that this system is too complex to rely on one man, one body, one class, one race, or any singular thing.
Therefore, we submit to you the 2017 trusted agent the Liberty County NAACP president and executive board members: President Graylan Quarterman; 1st Vice President Eric Hollis; 2nd Vice President Artis Morrison; Secretary Wilhemenia Clarke-Gadson; Assistant Secretary Natalie Hines; Treasurer Vicky Nelson; Assistant Treasurer Tamika Terry.
Committee chairs are: Legal Redress: Wanda Washington; Membership and Life Membership: Clara Pippen; Armed Services and Veteran Affairs: McKesson Stafford; Religious Affairs: DeRon Harper; Education: Camilla Quarterman; Health: Barbara White; Political: Brenda Wither; Women in the NAACP (WIN): Delisa Espada; President of the Youth Unit (young-adult/youth work): Crystal Ball; Sergeant–at-Arms: Willie Anderson; Community Coordination: Karen Jones Jemison; Economic Development: Warren Waye; Housing: Dorothy Lewis; Labor and Industry: Laura Oakley; Prison Branch: Daisy Jones; Members at-Large: Rose Mary Brown and David Anderson.
Join us at one of our public meetings on the first on Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorchester Center.
Quarterman is president of the NAACP Liberty County Branch.