Glenda Robinson remembers it all, clear as day.
“I was there,” says the Memphis-born civil rights activist and member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a grantee of your Community Foundation.
“I was in Dr. King’s last march in 1968, and I was in the memorial march a few days later.” At the time, Glenda was a 19-year-old junior at Memphis State University.
For the past 16 years, Glenda – who also serves as a pastor at Second Baptist Church in Boulder – has spearheaded local community events celebrating the life and legacy of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, she'll host a free virtual event on Jan. 18, 10 a.m.-noon.
The countywide event – Why We Can't Wait! – features local choirs, a school jazz band and a school orchestra, as well as Memphis musician and artist Jacki Reddick, Denver poet and storyteller Kerrie Joy, a tribute to sculptor and author Edward Joseph Dwight, Jr., a preview of the Wither’s Photography Collection from the Wither's Museum, and much more. [REGISTER HERE.]
“Every time we look at the TV, we know why we can’t wait,” says Glenda. “If ever there was a time for Dr. King’s ‘beloved community’ to come together, it’s now.”
Adds Annett James, President of NAACP Boulder County Branch: “A few days ahead of Biden’s inauguration, and with Black History Month happening in February, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished locally in the tragic, horrible year that’s been…and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.
“For example, we launched an innovative program helping local businesses incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion [DEI] in their recruitment and retention efforts – from how to assess your applicant pool and how to present equity values in a for-profit environment, to how to talk about race in the workplace.
“Through networking opportunities for businesses, we’re emphasizing their role in our community beyond simply operating as profit-driven entities.”
Annett further points out NAACP’s successful get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020; launching a new religious affairs committee that brings together community members representing diverse faiths; ongoing work in our schools; and a well-received re-brand to more effectively approach younger populations.
Indeed, according to Annett, local NAACP memberships tripled in 2020. She’s also proud of the group’s authoring several resolutions in the past year, including on the use of restraint chairs in policing.