Salisbury University’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its annual Mr. And Mrs. NAACP awards in the Wicomico room of GSU, on Oct. 21, 2021.
The 2021-22 winners of the Mr. And Mrs. NAACP were Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated Stephon Mason and Orientation Leader and NAACP Member Jordyn Pittman.
President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated Jamil Charles and by Founder of the Leaders of Tomorrow Non-Profit Juan Adames hosted the event.
The panelists for the evening were the Student Government Association’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Danitza Roman, Graduate Assistant to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Hillary Agyemang, Alumni and former NAACP President for the 2019-20 school year Chantess Robinson and current Secretary and Public Relations Officer for SU’s NAACP Chapter Savannah Johnson. The panelists kept score throughout the evening based on the contestants' presentations and Q&A performance.
The first contestant to present was Stephon Mason, current vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. Mason’s campaign was on the impact of colorblind racism on the Black and indigenous people (BIPOC) of color at SU.
Mason cited incidents of colorblind racism at SU, which included inadequate sensitivity training and ignorance towards the predominately white institution culture of the university. He also discussed the negative impacts this can have on the campus community. He then proposed resolutions to such issues on personal and institutional levels through two main ideas.
“For the first idea, I feel we should have weekly or monthly workshops that address colorblind racism or other ‘isms’ that negatively impact students of color here on campus,” Mason said.
“Secondly, we should do mentoring with the local youth in Salisbury so we can develop better understandings about their perspectives, which essentially creates a mutualistic relationship, as we get to offer them advice within their lives, and in return, we can learn to be more open minded as people.”
Orientation Leader and NAACP Member Jordyn Pittman, whose campaign was about education rights, specifically questioning why it seems education rights are disappearing. She discussed the ongoing events at Howard University to elaborate on unequal educational assets and cited Education Data to show African American, Black, Alaskan native and indigenous students are more likely to drop out of college in comparison to white students.
She said this is relevant since education is one of the fundamental rights to basic human rights, and it alters success and socioeconomic status. She also talked about how rights to education are not completely accessible due to the unstable resources from higher education institutions and how this can negatively impact the student body.
“Some of the ways that the community can exercise our right to education is by standing together and speaking out as one voice,” Pittman said. “The student protest at Howard University and the recent NAACP student-lead protest held in Fulton here at Salisbury University are two prime examples."
“Both student bodies from these schools felt as if their right to education was being altered somehow in some way.”
The candidates were then asked about the history of NAACP by the hosts and asked questions ranging from stances on campus issues to personal thoughts on topics by panelists and audience members.
After the Q&A portion of the evening, the panelists tallied up the candidates’ scores. The winners were crowned and the night finished with a group photo.
By ANGEL KONTRA
Photo courtesy of Jordyn Pittman's Instagram page.