Roslyn M. Brock — arbiter of social impact, health equity expert, and social policy change agent — was the virtual keynote speaker for the 69th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet “Living for Justice, Peace and Love!” This event was organized by the Dayton Unit of the NAACP.
“Roslyn Brock was the youngest person and fourth woman to become the chairperson of the NAACP’s national board in 2010. Under her leadership, the national board developed many 21st-century game-changers. Her trademark saying is that “courage will not skip this generation”.
You can watch the video of Roslyn’s virtual speech, or read excerpts of what she said below.
“The Dayton NAACP has a rich and proud history and is commended for advancing the mission and vision of the NAACP, which is to ensure equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. I had the pleasure of being with you a decade ago, shortly after I was elected chairman of the NAACP National Board. Your theme in 2010 was “one nation one dream”. Wow, how things have changed! A decade ago our nation had just elected the first American of African descent to the highest position in the land – Barack Obama. Many celebrated this event and declared that America was a “post-racial society”. Sadly, in 2020, we have witnessed a rising tide of racism, hatred, and fear- hovering just beneath the surface. I don’t have to tell you what a dangerous and defining time this is, as we struggle to address a global health, racial, and economic pandemic.”
“The current social, economic, political, and racial climate, challenges us to reexamine and recommit ourselves to what Abraham Lincoln called a “new birth of freedom”. In times like these, we need a new birth of freedom that values and respects the inherent worth and dignity of every American. We need a new birth of freedom that educates all children and closes disparities in healthcare for minorities and seniors. We need a new birth of freedom that permits us to reimagine law enforcement, so that our brothers and sisters in blue can fully exercise their call to duty to protect and serve. We need a new birth of freedom that passes a stimulus package so all Americans can be on the path to full economic recovery. We need a new birth of freedom that safeguards civil and voting rights for all. Most of all, we need a new birth of freedom for every American in this country until everyone can breathe free.”
“The structural and systemic racial challenges faced by Americans are not figments of their imagination. The challenges are real. We speak the name of our brothers and sisters so the world never forgets who they are. I am not minimizing the task of the men and women in blue. Law enforcement should treat men and women of color equally and with respect that’s why we commend the Dayton unit of the NAACP for developing an 8-point strategy for criminal justice reform and police accountability.”
“As agents of change and transformation, we must address the fact that black and brown communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Underlying social and economic conditions have resulted in health officials all over America to recognize race and racism as public health issues which must be addressed. Health improvement and advancement cannot be achieved in vulnerable communities without investment in health equity and true allyship in the provision, delivery and outcome of healthcare services and programs.”
“Today when white, black, yellow, and brown families are living with their backs against the wall, we can see men and women of goodwill who reach out to help their neighbors in their time of need. That is the kind of leadership we need in America – authentic leaders with a moral compass, who understand that life is about others. Service to others is the way we pay for the space we occupy. We need men and women with mental rightness, courage, clarity of purpose, and a burning desire to make this nation what it ought to be – one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
“My friends, if you remember nothing else, remember this – when we stand united in unity, in peace, and in love, courage will not skip this generation. I wish you grace, peace, and love as you enjoy the balance of your day.”
Tags: Roslyn M. Brock, NAACP, Arbiter of Social Change, Health Equity Champion, Roslyn Brock