Magazine article The Crisis

The People's Inauguration: A New Era of Activism Ushered in by Youth & College Division

Magazine article The Crisis

The People's Inauguration: A New Era of Activism Ushered in by Youth & College Division

Article excerpt

In a mere 24 hours after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, members of the NAACP's Youth and College Division raised a battle cry before an intergenerational crowd at the People's Inauguration in the nation's capital. Dubbed the "Stay Woke and Fight" campaign, members of the division focused on their peers by charging them to become active in the fight against potential threats to civil rights posed by the Trump administration. The event kicked offinauguration evening with a ball and culminated with a rally a few blocks from the White House at the historic Metropolitan AME Church.

A precursor to the Women's March on Washington, the rally provided an opportunity to re-affirm where African- Americans stand on issues such as criminal justice, health care and economic opportunities. The larger discussion was focused around the topics of engagement, unity and organization. National Youth and College Division director Stephen A. Green set the tone by sharing the purpose of the People's Inauguration: "to send a message of unity and to celebrate Black joy, while recognizing the work we have to continue."

Julia Chang, 20, came from California to support family and friends in attendance at the rally. "Coming to this rally is my support in the confirmation of saying, being a racist, sexist and classist is not ok."

One of the biggest issues was the confirmation of Sen. JeffSessions (R-AL) as the U.S. Attorney General. Trump's campaign rhetoric of restoring "law and order" coupled with Sessions' former actions against civil rights activists have many concerned.

"Law and order is an assault on the Constitution. It's an assault on your civil rights. "It's an assault on the NAACP," NAACP President and CEO CornellWilliam Brooks told attendees at the rally.

Brooks, who along with Green and members of the NAACP were arrested during their peaceful protest in Sessions' Congressional office, encouraged intergenerational leadership and work. …

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