Asheville-Buncombe County NAACP News – October 2017

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy Photo: Bruce Kennedy

Ms. Carmen Ramos-Kennedy
Photo: Bruce Kennedy

by Carmen Ramos-Kennedy –

Is Healthcare for All a Moral Obligation?

With healthcare at the center of national public debate, participation in the conversation at First Baptist Church of Asheville, on Oct 12, could not be more important. Five speakers, representing a variety of spiritual paths, will explore whether we have a moral imperative to care for all.

Rev. Mack Dennis, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Jackie Simms, Leader, Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville, Yousuf Bem Omran, Islamic Center of Asheville, Stephen Wall, MD, Congregation Beth Ha Tephila, and Dr. John Grant, Pastor, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, will address how their different theologies and philosophies inform responses to our current health crisis. Rev. David Blackmon is the moderator. Questions and Answers will follow the presentation. Please join your local Branch of NAACP there!

In Defense of DACA

National NAACP has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration—President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—in defense of people of color eligible for DACA. Currently 800,000 young immigrants—productive, valued people of color in our communities—are living in fear of prosecution and deportation.

Many Dreamers have grown up knowing America as their only home. Now their education and livelihoods are at risk. More than 80% of registrants are of Mexican origin, according to the Migration Policy Institute; about 36,000 immigrants of African origin and over 20,000 youth from Caribbean nations of the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are eligible for DACA, too.

Advocating for Children in School

We are working on providing an in-depth workshop on “How to Advocate for Children of Color Attending Public Schools.” Statistics reveal the disparity of discipline, expulsions, and suspensions for children of color.

The facilitator, Keith Howard, Esq., did a compressed presentation for the Branch in September; there was a lot of interest in a workshop. Keith specializes in the area of advocating for children in school and the law. He is one of the few doing this specialized work in the state.

If you—parents, guardians, educators, and the general public—are interested in helping to create a brighter future for our children, you are encouraged to participate. Please contact Include your name, email, and phone number.

Municipal Elections are Here

Early Voting has started, and the Primary is Oct 10. We trust that all Urban News readers are registered to vote at their current address. If not, please contact us at

Municipal elections are quite possibly the most important elections, but most often the turnout is poor. Your vote really can count in our local election. We have some really good people running—voters have three seats to fill. Do your civic duty and vote.

The NAACP has been fighting for the right of citizens to vote since its founding in 1909. Neither the State Conference of NAACP nor the local Branch of NAACP endorses political candidates. We have become aware of political material that appears to imply Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the State Conference and leader of the Moral Monday Movement, is endorsing a candidate in our local election. Do not be misled: THAT IS NOT TRUE.

Like all NAACP members, we encourage you to read up about each candidate and 1) vote for candidates who best reflect your beliefs about equality, equal rights and opportunities, and justice and liberty for all; and 2) vote your conscience!

Note: This month’s meeting has been moved to Thursday, Oct. 12 at First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak St. from 7-8:30 p.m. Plenty of free parking is available. For more information, please contact President Carmen Ramos-Kennedy,



The Asheville-Buncombe NAACP, Branch #5363, meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Sanctuary of Hill Street Baptist Church, 135 Hill Street in Asheville. For information:; Buncombe County NAACP, PO Box 2881, Asheville, NC 28802​;

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