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Eboni Lemon / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Martha Dalton / WABE

As Election Day inches closer, Gov. Nathan Deal is ramping up efforts to convince voters to support his school takeover plan. Deal pitched the proposal to a lukewarm crowd at Impact Church near East Point Tuesday night.

About 200 people came to hear the governor speak. Impact’s congregation is predominantly African-American. The majority of schools at risk of a state takeover under the governor’s plan are in high-poverty areas with minority populations.

Michael Dwyer

The Georgia NAACP is criticizing civil rights icon Andrew Young for calling some demonstrators "unlovable little brats" in a speech to Atlanta officers, saying Young should instead join the protesters in demanding police reform.

Young made the comments while meeting with Atlanta police officers at a police station over the weekend. He gave a morale-boosting talk to the officers and thanked them for their efforts during recent Atlanta demonstrations after black men were killed by officers in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Beatrice Moritz for Hillary for America / flickr.com/hillaryclinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is using a Southern campaign swing to outline criminal justice proposals intended to treat black Americans more fairly.

In Atlanta, Clinton will call Friday for eliminating sentencing disparities between crack cocaine crimes and those involving powder cocaine. Clinton proposes making the change retroactive, according to her campaign.

Chris Ferguson / WABE

Fayette County officials are set to meet with the NAACP on Wednesday in an attempt to settle a lengthy voting rights fight.

Earlier this month, Atlanta U.S. District Judge Timothy Batton ordered the parties into mediation with Georgia State University law dean Steven Kaminshine. The two parties are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m.

Both the Fayette Board of Commissioners and the NAACP declined to comment, citing the meeting. A meeting with the Fayette County Board of Education, which was also named in the suit, was scheduled for earlier this week.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Civil rights leaders met with Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday to discuss their opposition to a planned memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on top of Stone Mountain. 

"We will not accept this. We will fight against it peacefully and nonviolently," said Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,  the organization King helped found. "And we conveyed that to the governor. We think he received it and he will use his influence to convey it to others."

The heads of the DeKalb and Atlanta chapters of the NAACP also participated in the meeting.

Civil rights leader Julian Bond is arrested outside the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, as prominent environmental leaders tied themselves to the White House gate to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Ann Heisenfelt / AP Photo

Civil rights leader and former NAACP chairman Julian Bond died last weekend, but his legacy will live on in the people and organizations he touched during his lifetime.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, is one of those organizations. Bond was one of the Center’s co-founders in 1971 and its first president. The SPLC monitors hate groups and works on equality issues for minorities, women, the disabled and the LGBT community.

 This July 8, 2007 file photo shows NAACP Chairman Julian Bond addressing the civil rights organization's annual convention in Detroit.
Paul Sancya / AP Photo

The list of major events in the life of civil rights leader and activist Julian Bond is a long one.

Bond was the co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was a member of the Georgia General Assembly, the first African-American to be nominated for a major party vice presidential candidacy and chairman of the NAACP ─ and that's just for starters. 

Bond, 75, died over the weekend in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, and five children, one of which includes Atlanta Councilman Michael Julian Bond. 

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

Julian Bond, a key civil rights activist and anti-war campaigner who helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later served for years as the chairman of the NAACP, has died at age 75.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, where Bond served as president in the 1970s, announced his death in a statement on Sunday. The SPLC said Bond died Saturday evening in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute's offices in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NA
Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press

Two weeks ago, little was know about Rachel Dolezal. 

She's a part-time professor at Eastern Washington University, but now her bio and course description has been omitted.

Earlier it read, "Dolezal holds her Master's degree from Howard University and is a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University."

Now, Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP’s Spokane Washington chapter has resigned amidst the core of a firestorm.

On Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, a grand jury in Ferguson, MO announced it would not indict a white Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old. The August 2014 confrontation between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown took only a couple of minutes.  

The grand jury announcement, and the unrest that followed in Ferguson, re-opened questions about how well Americans truly understand each other across racial lines.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. And with midterm elections just over a month away, a coalition of groups gathered at the state Capitol to urge Georgians to sign up.

The NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and Georgia Equality were just some of the groups that showed up. Roland Carlisle is with 9 to 5, a group that fights for workplace equality. He invoked the struggle of Civil Rights leaders, such as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Francys Johnson speaks Thursday at the Georgia Capitol on another matter.
Michelle Wirth / WABE

Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry is taking an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately. The leave of absence comes after audio of a June conference call of Ferry speaking about free agent Luol Deng.

During the call, Ferry said words civil rights leaders and others describe as racially insensitive. This excerpt of the call was obtained by ESPN.

“He's a good guy overall, but not perfect. He's got some African in him."

Local NAACP Hosts Gun Buyback

Jan 16, 2014
An officer in the Fulton County Sheriff's Department zip-ties an old rifle Thursday at a gun buyback, which was organized by the Atlanta branch of the NAACP.
Michell Eloy

  The Atlanta branch of the NAACP held its first-ever gun buyback Thursday, calling it a nonviolent event in leading up to Monday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

On a frigid morning, people lined up in their cars along Central Avenue just west of Turner Field to surrender their firearms to law enforcement officials. One of them, Tommy, who declined to give his last name, handed over his .22 caliber antique rifle.

Gun buyback programs have been used by cities all over the country, such as this gun buyback program in Oakland, California, in 2012.
flickr.com/photos/youthradio/8282036197

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and faith leaders are joining the NAACP in a gun buyback initiative.

“We decided to take action. More than just pray for it and go to sleep," said Rev. R.L. White, Jr., president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. 

At a Monday press conference at Atlanta City Hall, Brown condemned what he called America’s culture of violence and called for fewer guns on the streets.

“When we first initiated this buyback effort, it was out of necessity, not politics,” said Brown.

justice.gov/usao/gan

A proposed list of six federal judge appointments from Georgia is raising diversity concerns. 

The Obama administration and Georgia’s two U.S. senators reportedly agreed to the list late this summer.

Outside the Richard B. Russell federal building in downtown Atlanta, a handful of state lawmakers and advocates protested the lack of diversity on the list and among federal judges in general.

NAACP

The Georgia State Conference of the NAACP says it plans to call on the U.S. Justice department to investigate the death of a Valdosta teen who was discovered inside a rolled up wrestling mat at his high school in January.

Investigators ruled 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson's death accidental, concluding Johnson fell into the gym mat, became trapped and couldn’t breathe. But Johnson’s parents believe he was murdered and unsuccessfully called on the Justice Department and investigators to further examine the case.

New Georgia NAACP Lays Out Goals

Oct 15, 2013
Dr. Francys Johnson, new president of the NAACP Georgia Chapter
University of North Georgia

The new president of the NAACP’s Georgia chapter is laying out his goals for the organization.

At 34, Francys Johnson is the youngest president in the organization’s history. Johnson is a Statesboro civil rights attorney and pastor. He says some of the areas the Georgia NAACP will focus on include: economic stability, voting rights and a free and quality education for all of Georgia’s children.

Charles Edwards/WABE News

In wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, the NAACP said Tuesday they will soon push Congress to pass voting protections for minorities.  

Edward DuBose, the president of Georgia’s NAACP says he was appalled by the Court’s decision. 

“Medgar Evers died for that right to vote. Dr. King was killed for the right to vote. The four little girls in Birmingham were killed for the right to vote,” DuBose said at a press conference.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices said the law was based off of old data and didn’t reflect racial progress.

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

The head of Georgia’s NAACP doesn’t plan to seek another term in office. Edward DuBose says after eight years of serving as the president of NAACP Georgia State Conference it’s time to the pass the torch.

“We’ve accomplished a lot, and I think the time is just right.”

NAACP Launches Gun Buyback Effort

May 13, 2013
Michelle Wirth/WABE News

The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP is hoping to partner with other local organizations to start a gun buyback program. The group says it’s starting the program because of federal inaction when it comes to gun control.

The program is called Project Rescue Atlanta and is aimed at preventing gun violence and other crime. Atlanta NAACP president Reverend R.L. White says the local effort is needed after  legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases recently failed in the U.S. Senate.

Edward DuBose, Georgia NAACP
Georgia NAACP

Governor Deal met Monday with black civil rights and political leaders. The coalition expressed concern about the governor’s recent decision to suspend six DeKalb County school board members, five of whom are African-American. 

The coalition didn’t take a stand on whether the suspended members should’ve kept their seats on the board. Instead, Georgia NAACP president Edward DuBose said they were concerned about a 2011 law that allows the governor to remove school board members.

MARTA’s employee union, some state lawmakers, and advocacy groups rallied Tuesday at the Capitol against a bill that would partly privatize MARTA and force several other reforms, including major cutbacks to employee health and pension benefits.

The bill’s supporters say reform is necessary to stabilize the finances of the transit agency, which is currently operating at a $30 million deficit. 

But Prince Sanders, a 14-year veteran of MARTA, said the bill is a power play by state lawmakers to take over the system and enrich outside business interests.

Martha Dalton/WABE News

The Georgia chapter of the NAACP gathered on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday. The group voiced their support for six suspended members of the DeKalb County school board, five of whom are African-American. 

The NAACP took issue with Governor Deal’s decision to suspend the board members. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, the chair of Georgia’s Legislative Black Caucus, said the law that allows the governor to do that is flawed.

What was dubbed a press conference felt more like a Sunday morning mega-church service at the Georgia World Congress Center Wednesday. 

The topic:  getting African-Americans to the polls.

“It makes it more necessary and crucial that we help register, educate and urge people to turn out on Nov. 6th and vote," said Dr. Julius Scruggs, president of National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.

The group's 132nd annual conference is in Atlanta this week.  

T-SPLOST Opponents Come to MARTA's Defense

Aug 7, 2012

A group of T-SPLOST opponents are coming to the defense of MARTA after several elected officials, including the governor, have said the transit system's inefficiencies are partly to blame for the recent T-SPLOST defeat.

The Sierra Club, the DeKalb NAACP, and state Senator Vincent Fort are calling for an “honest” dialogue.

Colleen Kiernan of the Sierra Club says recent remarks by Governor Nathan Deal and state Rep. Mike Jacobs, the chair of the MARTA oversight committee, are counterproductive.

In a press conference held today outside the Gold Dome, the state NAACP says the Georgia Department of Transportation has discriminated against black-owned businesses seeking construction and engineering contracts.

In a formal complaint to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the group is asking for a full investigation.

In a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, Ga NAACP chapter president Edward DuBose says the Georgia Department of Transportation engages in "willful" acts of discrimination against African-American and other minority-owned businesses.  

DuBose says G-DOT's own internal audit confirms the charges, and asks for the Department of Justice to investigate. 

This Sunday at African-American churches all over the US, pastors will address HIV infection rates within the Black community.

It’s part of a drive from the NAACP to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic’s disproportionate impact on African-Americans.

African-Americans represent about 14 percent of the population in the U.S., yet they account for 44 percent of the country’s new infections.    

That’s why Shavon Arline-Bradley, Director of the NAACP Health Department, says HIV is a civil rights issue.  And the church has a role in addressing it. 

Georgia Settles Lawsuit Over Low-Income Voter Registration

Apr 20, 2012

State officials have settled a lawsuit charging welfare and food stamp applicants haven’t been given proper access to voter-registration materials.

Signed in 1993, the National Voter Registration Act requires states to offer to register anyone receiving public aid, whether they apply for benefits in person, by telephone, or online.

The lawsuit, brought forth by Project Vote, the NAACP, and others, argued Georgia wasn’t fulfilling its obligations under the law.