Charles County NAACP tries to bring com­mu­nity to­gether

Or­ga­ni­za­tion to hold dis­cus­sion about race is­sues

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JESSI STICKEL jstickel@somd­

The Charles County chap­ter of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for the Ad­vance­ment of Col­ored Peo­ple (NAACP) is try­ing to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether by dis­cussing ra­cial is­sues with “A Com­mu­nity Con­ver­sa­tion: We are one.”

“This is the first time we have had this type of meet­ing,” Jan­ice Wil­son, chap­ter pres­i­dent, said. The meet­ing was pro­voked by re­cent events in Char­lottesville, Va., she said.

“So much is go­ing on in the U.S. right now, we thought it was time to have a talk about stay­ing to­gether,” Wil­son said.

Wanda Wood­land, for­mer chap­ter pres­i­dent and

cur­rent youth ad­viser for the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said she wants to pre­vent Charles County from hav­ing events sim­i­lar to what hap­pened in Char­lottesville.

“What I am hop­ing is that we can have an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion about the race is­sues in Char­lottesville that could pos­si­bil­ity hap­pen in Charles County,” Wood­land said.

“The NAACP’s main goal is to bring the com­mu­nity

to­gether as one,” Wil­son added.

The meet­ing will have a panel of speak­ers and will al­low ques­tions from the com­mu­nity.

“We want to give the peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to talk and voice their thoughts,” Wil­son said.

Wood­land said that the pres­i­dent of the youth group will be on the panel as well Thurs­day evening.

“We need to hear from them and how they feel. It’s the youth that can change this,” Wood­land added.

Wood­land said they are

try­ing to work on keep­ing the “least amount of ra­cial ten­sion” within the high schools in Charles County.

She also said the Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion was in­vited to the dis­cus­sion, along with many other in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in the com­mu­nity, such as Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry (D), La Plata Po­lice Chief Carl Schin­ner and Mary­land State Po­lice La Plata Bar­rack Com­man­der Lt. Jim­mie Meur­rens.

“We are invit­ing the en­tire com­mu­nity. We want to en­gage ev­ery as­pect,”

Wil­son said.

Wil­son said one of the is­sues she wants to bring up in the dis­cus­sion is the ra­cial com­ments be­ing made on so­cial me­dia sites like Face­book.

How­ever, she as­sured that “it doesn’t have to be

all neg­a­tive, we can also talk about the pos­i­tive things that are work­ing in the com­mu­nity.”

“[I feel that] any­thing can be worked out through com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” Wil­son said.

The dis­cus­sion will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thurs­day, Aug. 31, at the True Gospel Church Min­istry in Wal­dorf.

“My vi­sion is to bring the Charles County com­mu­nity to­gether,” Wil­son said.

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