Call to Action for the National Pan Hellenic Council
A Call to Action for the
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
We are calling upon the membership and leadership of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) to pull together our collective resources of time, people power and money to organize a united response to the injustice of the “not guilty” verdict in the shooting death of African American teen, Trayvon Martin, by George Zimmerman on July 14, 2013. This case has garnered national and international attention because of the implicit racial contours and with this verdict once again America stands at the crucible of another wave of racial tension and violence. We want to channel our collective angst and frustration and believe as members of NPHC organizations, we are in the best position to use our skills and talent together for the greater good of the African American community and the United States of America in general.
Historically, members of the NPHC have been at the forefront of the fight for social justice. Likewise, we have banded together across our various organizations, often taking very bold and demonstrative action in the wake of potential loss of income and job security and the threat of retaliatory violence. For example, in 1951, prominent members of Black Greek Letter Organizations, including Alpha fraters W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson and Delta Soror Mary Church Terrell, along with members of the Civil Rights Congress delivered a signed petition to the United Nations charging the United States government with genocide because of the federal government's refusal and inability to stop the lynching of African Americans in the South. If these brave members of our esteemed organizations can take a stand, we call upon our leaders and members to use our collective “voices” for justice now.
As most of our organizations have youth development as the hallmark of our programming and foci, we would like to see decisive action taken so that no African American teenager should ever have to fear vigilante violence because of the color of their skin or the type of clothing they wear. This letter is a call to action and the undersigned are willing to lend a hand wherever we can. We believe that with our numbers and the positions many of our members hold within the legal arena, law enforcement, education and politics, that with unity, we will have the strength of force on our side so that there are no more tragic and senseless killings of our children. Below is a list of action items we are calling upon the NPHC to rally behind and make a central focus of organizational programming immediately. • Urge NPHC members to sign the NAACP Petition to Urge the Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Link here: http://www.naacp.org/page/s/doj-civil-rights-petition • Organization of a massive voter mobilization campaign for the 2014 elections (registration, voter education, transportation assistance to the polls). Call upon each organization’s regional and local chapter leadership to make voter registration, education and turnout a central theme for the upcoming fraternity/sorority year. • NPHC-led voter education forums featuring members of the Congressional Black Caucus from our respective organizations to educate the public about important legislative decisions we must grapple with in the near future. Select 3-5 major cities to host these forums. • Support the non-partisan National Voter Registration Day on September 24, 2013 by volunteering at any of the special registration events in major cities across the county. See http://www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ for more information. • Urge members to sign the NAACP letter to Congress to protect voting rights for millions of African Americans, elderly and poor in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (which defines which jurisdictions are subject to federal monitoring of voting): http://www.naacp.org/defend-your-rights We urge the NPHC to act NOW because our sons and daughters cannot wait for us to get on the right side of history!
**Petition Signers, please include your NPHC organizational affiliation in the comment section. Please DO NOT sign anonymously. Thanks!**