NAACP executive to visit SIU

By Tyler Davis, @TDavis_DE

At the age of 21, John Gaskin III became an executive member on the national board for the NAACP. Nearly a year after the record-setting event, Gaskin will be speaking at SIU. 

The event, “Ferguson and Beyond: Not Just a Moment but a Movement,” will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Center Auditorium. It will be hosted by the College of Business, Office of Minority Affairs, the SIU chapter of the NAACP and the Registered Student Organization Blacks Interested in Business.

Gaskin—who provided commentary on the events following the August shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen—will speak to students about ways to become active in the Carbondale community, said Michael Haywood, director of the office of minority affairs.

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“He’ll tell them they need be serious, focused and realize that they are not the leaders of tomorrow but the leaders of today,” Haywood said.

He said Gaskin will also talk to young children as well as older adults.

“John will be talking to some second graders and third graders, encouraging them to be their best in academics and to set goals,” Haywood said.

Haywood said overall, the event will unite people of all different backgrounds to celebrate black history.

“It’s always a good time to bring people together in peace and harmony,” he said. 

“Not a moment but a movement” is the theme of the event because Haywood said from voting rights to the Michael Brown incident, civic issues are not just temporary.

While many of these events affect black people, Haywood said Gaskin’s visit is for anyone interested in joining the celebration of American history.

“It’s not just geared towards black people,” he said. “The NAACP is not just for black people. Everyone has benefitted from what the NAACP has done.”

The NAACP has positively affected other nationalities and identities groups, such as LBGTQ members, by helping them organize and take actions, Haywood said. 

For more information contact the Office of Minority Affairs or Michael Haywood at [email protected]

Tyler Davis can be reached at [email protected]

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