WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Local civil rights groups will come together Saturday for a panel discussion on the state of blacks and Latinos in Westchester County and to promote voter participation during this election year.
The White Plains/Greenburgh chapter of the NAACP is sponsoring the event, to be held at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. NAACP representatives will be joined on the panel by members of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, including Damon Jones, president of the Westchester chapter.
"A lot of times you find that, with forums, you're preaching to the choir," Jones said. "Now we've got to figure out different ways to reach the masses of people, those that don't come out to the forums."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is inviting elected officials, community leaders, faith-based group leaders, educators and the public to add to the discussion.
In addition to the exchange of ideas, Jones, a correction officer and White Plains resident, said he wants to hear from elected officials about what is being done to address issues such as education, health care, and high incarceration and recidivism rates in minority communities.
"How are we being progressive in addressing these issues, not putting Band-Aid solutions, because we can't arrest away the problems; the problem is still here," Jones said.
Sonja Brown, member of the local NAACP's civic engagement committee, said, "The single issue that arguably stands to have the greatest impact on the future of black and Latino America in 2012 is the vote.”