Ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens of Media and surrounding communities
Founded on February 12, 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] is the nation’s largest, and most widely recognized civil rights organization. The organization’s more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NAACP leads grassroots campaigns for equal opportunity and conducts voter mobilization in order to secure the rights that are guaranteed to all US citizens by the 13th, 14th, and 15th constitutional amendments*. The original NAACP headquarters were established in New York City, and Mary White Ovington, a white woman, became the first executive secretary. W.E.B. DuBois was the only black person among the original executives when the NAACP was formed.
The Media Area Branch NAACP was established in the early 1920’s. The Branch formation was in response to a series of unfortunate incidents that occurred in the Borough. These events began when a white Media High School female was criminally assaulted in the rural section of town near Lima. Because she was attacked from behind, all she saw before fainting was a pair of dark arms. As a result of her story, the white community believed the crime had been committed by a man of African descent, and feelings ran high against the African-American population. Young white men began an intensive search for the attacker, and forced their way into nearly every Black home in the Lima, PA area. As was common in the United States at the time, the African-American community was defenseless against these lawless intrusions.
In response to the dangers of the situation, community members John E. Jones and Percy O. Batipps, Sr. called on a group of local African-American leaders to create a temporary organization for the general defense of the Black population. That organization was kept alive and functioning for 10 years until it became a permanent organization. Hence the Media Branch of the NAACP was formed.
The Media Branch of the NAACP is a non-profit organization, staffed by volunteers, with over 200 members. The current Branch president, Mr. James Mason, has been a member for about four years and served as Political Action Chair prior to becoming president in 2017.
The Media NAACP branch area is large and encompasses Springfield to Chadds Ford and Aston to Cheyney. NAACP offers help to all citizens in several areas including advocacy, such as helping people of all races with civil rights issues, and political action, such as assisting with voter registration drives and offering education on the political process. The Media NAACP Youth Council helps to develop future leaders and supports state initiatives on Trauma-Informed Education, helping educators and leaders across the state understand how trauma impacts students and how to effectively tackle it. The Media Branch NAACP Youth Council is a unit within the branch and operates independently. Current Youth Council members are high school and college students. Middle school students are eligible to join as well.
Recently the branch was asked to assist with the response to the incidents at Strath Haven High school. Specifically, the Media NAACP was contacted to help see that the process is handled fairly, give the public that assurance, and help the school district manage the crisis effectively. Leading up to the 2018 elections, the branch partnered with the League of Women Voters to hold three Candidate Forums.
Regular branch meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month at the Media Fellowship House, with which the organization partners for events like the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on 1/20/19. All are welcome to attend local NAACP meetings and events. The NAACP is open to anyone who wishes to join, regardless of race. For more information on the NAACP Media Branch, you may visit their website and Facebook Page. Donations to the local branch are welcome.
*13th Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
14th Amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
15th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”