By Lisa Mullen
A new chapter of the NAACP is coming to Coraopolis this year. Initiated by Carter Spruill, he plans to be a resource for those that don't have a voice.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was created in 1909 to, as it refers to in its mission statement, “secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.”
Spruill has the experience to help get this chapter going.
He arrived back in Pennsylvania in March of 2018 after living in Los Angeles for 30 years.
He spent his last two years in California as president of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the NAACP where he excelled in fundraising and drumming up membership interest and participation.
Wanting to be of service upon coming back home, Spruill checked out local chapters of the NAACP in both Allegheny and Beaver Counties but in the end, he decided he wanted to start his own chapter to better serve Coraopolis and the surrounding areas.
“Now is a good time to start one [NAACP Chapter] due to the rise of Black Lives Matter,” said Spruill.
“The difference between BLM and the NAACP is that BLM is a movement that mainly focuses on one or two issues. The NAACP is an organization that focuses on protecting the civil rights of all when it comes to politics, health and the economy."
Spruill feels that some of the issues the NAACP can work on to make a difference in people’s lives include seeking to change the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour up to a more livable wage of $15 an hour.
“Not only will this bring in more business because people will have more money to spend but it will help to ease tensions at home lessening domestic violence since so many people argue over money,” said Spruill.
He would also like to work on helping police officers get better training as well as creating a better interviewing process for people wanting to become police officers. He said this will help weed out potential problem officers before they even have a chance to become part of a police force.
As of Sept. 8, the branch has had 80 members join its ranks.
An income-based sponsorship fund is being made available through the fundraising work of Leah Bowers. More than $800 has been raised to help with sponsorships.
Annual membership ranges from $30 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for youth.
When the Coraopolis chapter reaches a minimum of 100 members, Spruill said he will be able to get approval from the local and national headquarters of the NAACP for this chapter to become a chartered chapter.
According to Spruill, the new chapter will become “a voice in the community because some people just have no place to go for help or answers to certain situations.”
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.