The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 12, 2013

NAACP speaker: ‘Let us raise the bar’ for change

JOHNSTOWN — Marking 50 years since the Rev. Martin Luther King told the nation “I have a dream,” the Johnstown branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is looking forward to “Advancing the Dream.”

That was the theme for Saturday’s Freedom Fund Banquet at the Holiday Inn in downtown Johnstown, marking the local branch’s 97 years of affiliation with the national organization.

“This banquet reports on what we have done for the year,” branch President Alan Cashaw said. “We are welcoming

50 years of advancing the dream.

“We hold up the civil rights for all people,” he continued. “If one person’s civil rights are trampled upon, all our civil rights are trampled upon.”

Keynote speaker Charvonne Holliday called on those attending to take active roles in advancing King’s dream.

A Johnstown native and 2004  graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, Holliday is coordinator of international projects at Windber Research Institute, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

Public health scientists have developed different models to explain social relationships, she told the audience.

One model looks at interaction between individual, social community and political factors. Researchers use the model to show links between poverty, education and success, including links with expectations and social norms, Holliday said.

“The easy way out is for us to take the top-down approach, blaming occurrences at the policy level for matters we have some control over,” she said.

“This evening, I propose a bottom-up approach: Examining ourselves first, and our impact on the lives of those around us.”

She challenged her audience to take responsibility for their community by taking action to raise expectations and be accountable.

“We now have to reconstitute the vehicle of social change and become agents of justice by speaking out about the inequalities that occur not only in our great nation, but in our own backyards,” Holliday said.

“Instead of waiting on the slow-moving, top-down change, let’s refine the expectations that we set for our community, irrespective of what others may set for us. Together let us raise the bar.”

She encouraged successful community members to mentor young people, citing studies that show mentorship can reduce drug and alcohol abuse and improve academic performance.

Service is also a component of change, Holliday continued.

“Think about how much you have to offer the world,” she said. “In advancing the dream, we must be mindful of how we spend our time and use this gift of time as a means to influence the lives of others, particularly our young people who will carry the torch of our respective visions.”

Randy Griffith is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads