The Corvallis -Albany Branch of the NAACP meets the second Thursday of the month at 7pm
101 NW 23rd Street
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political ,educational,social and economics equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race base discrimination..
Corvallis Branch NAACP Members Meeting, February 13, 2014
Executive Committee Meeting started at 6:30. Attending: President Barry Jerkins, Vice President Frederick Edwards, 2nd Vice President Marilyn Walsh, Secretary Mike Beilstein, Treasurer Jason Lee, at-large Executive Committee members Joan Collison and Kathy Conner.
Discussed a donation for the African American Youth Leadership Conference. A donor made a gift of $250 to the Branch, specifically to support the AAYLC. The EC instructed Treasurer Harris to accept the donation and send it to Darlene Andrus for expenses for the AAYLC.
President Jerkins informed the EC that Hun Lee has volunteered to act as a volunteer Branch Executive Director. She intended to meet with the Branch today, but could not join us because of illness. The EC decided to meet with her next month before deciding whether to appoint her to the position.
Mike Beilstein confirmed that the Black History Month screening of Anne Braden – Southern Patriot is set for February 19, 7:00 PM at the Odd Fellows Lodge.
Members meeting began at 7:00 PM. Joined by members Tim Dehne, Stewart Wershow and Sade Beasley, and guests OSU Director of Admissions Noah Buckley and Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Angelo Gomez.
Began the meeting with Lift Every Voice and Sing and introductions.
OSU Admissions Director Buckley reported that outreach has increased applications and admissions of AA students by 70% over the last five years. However enrollment has only increased by 10%. Admissions is launching new initiatives to improve AA enrollment. Extension programs and pre-college enrichment camps are used to interest students in OSU while still in high school. Student ambassadors are being hired for community based recruitment at Jefferson High School and Portland Community College.
Angelo Gomez reported that retention/graduation rates for AA students are not good. The six year graduation rate is 60 % for the general population, but 40 % for AA students. OSU has completed a two year study and visioning program to improve diversity. The main objectives are to increase faculty diversity and improve undergraduate success rates. They intend to add 40 new faculty. The faculty hiring system must be interrupted because the traditional process keeps producing the same results. Faculty tend to hire people who look and think like they do. Criteria for hiring must include commitment to student success and life experiences that mirror the diversity of student experience.
Sade Beasley shared her experience as an AA woman engineering student. None of her cohort in Portland came to OSU and friends discouraged her from OSU. She came anyway because there was no other good opportunity for engineering studies. She has experienced some overt racism in Corvallis, but has stayed. She confirmed that it is not easy to succeed as an African American student at OSU.
Sade Beasley presented to the Branch the painting she prepared of Billie Holiday. Five women students collaborated on its production. It illustrates the song Strange Fruit. The painting is a gift to the Branch to be auctioned as a fund raiser. Ms Beasley will begin a painting of Lonnie B. Harris to be displayed in the new Black Cultural Center when it is constructed. Ms Beasley invited members to attend the Black History Month Dinner on February 25.
President Jerkins reported on activities over the last month, including representing the Branch at MLK holiday celebrations and observing court hearings related to civil rights concerns.
Minutes of the January 9, 2014 meeting were reviewed and approved. Treasurer Harris reported on finances. There is still a great need for fundraising. Freedom Fund planning was discussed. Secretary Beilstein will invite members to a planning meeting to start work on it.
Joan Collison invited one or a few Branch members to join her for a presentation on March 11 about her experiences last year in Kenya at the State Prison in Salem for the inmate poetry group Uhuru Sasa. Joan recommended the exhibit Art of Black History at the Arlene Schnitzer Museum in Eugene which continues to April 6.
The Branch approved President Jerkins to prepare nominations of Cal Henry, William Henry T
Tebeau, and Wil Gamble for the national Unsung Heroes recognition.
Members were encouraged to attend the march 6 Housing Fair, 11-3:00 at the OSU MU Ballroom. Members were reminded about the Branch Black History film screening on February 19. It was noted that yesterday, February 12, was the 105th anniversary of the founding of NAACP in New York City in 1909.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00. Next members meeting is Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:00 PM at Westminster House.