It was a packed sanctuary at Fountain of Life C.O.G.I.C. as the National Action Network held their regularly scheduled meeting. April 25th, 2015 was special since it was N.A.N. Syracuse Chapter President Walt Dixie’s last meeting as the organizations leader. After some formalities Lekia K. Hill became the local branch’s newly elected president.
Dixie took time to reminisce about the 26 year journey that led him to Jubilee Homes and having the opportunity to work as he has in the community. He discussed the number of elected officials including State Senator Dave Valeski, who Dixie wants to attend these meetings to hear directly from the community. Walt also talked about Joannie Mahoney, Linda Ervin and Monica Wright-Williams for their work on issues that impact the area. The Onondaga County Executive has been an almost regular attendee of these N.A.N. meetings.
It’s time to be a part of committee’s to be a part of a solution. “We’re one step away from Ferguson”. At times choking back tears, as he talked about the various components of our community including Camp 415 consisting of minority Law Enforcement Officials, “We need to be supportive of our police and firemen so our children will aspire to become one.”
10 years Dixie has been leading the organization that has grown in influence, both locally and nationally. Their national president Al Sharpton has expanded this grass-roots community based organization, now more influential than ever.
The organization also sited Asssemblyman, Bill Magnarelli along with Sen. Dave Valeski for assisting in getting much needed funding to keep some of these initiatives going. In addition, Dixie discussed ongoing discussions with Troy Waffner Acting Director, New York State Fair, “He’s been open and non-defensive about some of the issues we bought to his attention.”
“I’m not going anywhere, I have a Cricket phone. So my time is limited. Those who are leaders you have to know your history, think of someone like Stretch Irons, or some other person who had an impact on you.” At that time he asked the audience to shout out the name of someone who’s helped them over the years, “Rev. Proctor” and several other names came gushing out like water running from a faucet.
The event was important because it signals a change in leadership in an important organization serving Syracuse. Dixie has dedicated 10 years of his life to the National Action Network. From the scores of elected and non-elected leaders in attendance, Dixie’s positioned the organization to ascend to the next level.
National Action Network (NAN) is a social and activist-oriented organization that was conceived with a focus on action. With the word “National” representing the scope of our activities, and “Network” reflecting the methodology of expansion, the National Action Network is based in New York City, 35 national chapters within the United States. The organization provides extensive voter education awareness and the national platform revolves around activism against racial profiling, police brutality, women’s issues, economic reform, public education, international affairs, including abolishing slavery in Africa, job awareness, AIDS awareness, and more.
Local N.A.N. Committees
Crisis Intervention-NAN. Is true to its name, National ACTION Network. The Syracuse
chapter feels that it is critical to be easily accessible and responsive to the needs of our
people. This committee serves to provide immediate attention and ACTION to a range of
issues that our members or community may face whether it be fair housing, emergency
resources, or social justice, etc.
Criminal Justice-Criminal Justice Initiative of the National Action Network was developed to combat racism and discrimination by Law Enforcement Agencies, Corporations and other social institutions.
Decency Initiative -Established in order to address standards in the media and entertainment
industries. The overall goal is to establish a single standard that will be adopted by media and entertainment entities that will respect all people regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation.
Membership-Membership at National Action Network is more than your typical Membership; it is a way of life. Nowhere else will you have the sense of a historic partnership with people that are trying to change the political and racial landscape of America by assuring us equal access to all that we deserve.
Information /Data Entry and Reception– A sub-committee of Membership, this committee was established in order to maintain accurate records of current and prospective members, maintain updates of community issues, and facilitate timely responses to telephone calls and emails.
Education -This Ad Hoc committee serves to address issues related to the equity and quality of education in our local primary and secondary schools. As well, this committee serves to promote academic achievement and post-secondary education among children and youth of underserved populations and communities.
Economic Development– This Ad Hoc committee exists to promote the equitable distribution of resources on local, state and federal levels. As well as to promote entrepreneurship and self-reliance within the communities that the organization targets and serves.
No Justice, No Peace!
Check out N.A.N.’s new website at www.syracusenan.org