A Civil Rights
Organization for US Citizens
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Salt Lake City, UT 84125-0414

NAACP Salt Lake Branch
Branch Activities & History
The branch is busy throughout the years with legislative issues, scholarships, veterans, discrimination, housing, employment, youth and college issues.
If your NAACP membership has expired, please renew online at www.naacp-saltlakebranch.org or mail to: NAACP SL Branch, P.O. Box 25414, Salt Lake City, UT 84125-0414.
 Previous Branch Activities

The NAACP Salt Lake Branch November 2019, held the following health discussions with: Amyloidosis Education with Jose Nitivi-Nicolau, MD
Director, Cardiac Amyloidosis Program, University of Utah Health
Discovering the Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Amyloidosis.
Dr. Charles Rogers (University of Utah School of Medicine)
#CuttingCRC (Community Dialogue Session)

On Investigating The Complex, Understudied Factors Influencing African American Men's
Low Completion of Screening
Colorectal Cancer (CRC).

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Forum

The NAACP Salt Lake Branch Education Committie, on April 13, 2017, held the ESSA Forum at 6:00 pm at Bryant Middle school, 40 S. 800 E. Salt Lake City. The Principal was James Yapias. Victor Goode, NAACP Interim Director of Education from the NAACP Headquarters presented on ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). The NAACP works with the Utah State Board of Education, Lexi Cunningham, Ed.D, Superintendent, Salt Lake City School District, other school districts, and James Yapias in our outreach.

For questions, contact Jeanetta Williams, President at (801) 250-5088 or jdwnaacp@att.net.

Special Announcement from
Excel Entertainment:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and the Bonneville Charitable Foundation provided a combined grant to the NAACP Salt Lake Branch, up to $40,000, in support of their work with the groundbreaking film, Jane and Emma.

Op-ed: December 2015 Hate Crimes Requires a community-wide response
Check out this article from The Salt Lake Tribune. Written by: Utah MLK Jr. Human Rights Commision


Law Enforcement Forum
As a follow-up from our 2014 Law Enforcement forum, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch hosted another forum with a large number of local Police Chiefs, Officers and Utah Highway Patrol officials at the Utah State Bar Law and Justice Center, 645 South 200 East (Rosa Parks Blvd.). Carlton T. Mayers, II, Esq., former NAACP Criminal Justice Director from our Baltimore Headquarters was in attendance and assisted with the forum, announced Jeanetta Williams, President.

The second community Policing Forum was held the same evening at New Pilgrim Baptist Church, (The Point Church), 5133 South Heath Av., Kearns, Utah. Both forums addressed community policing, police shootings, officer shootings, wearing of body cameras, accountability and other subjects. Carlton T. Mayers, II, Esq., NAACP Criminal Justice Director talked about the “Ban the Box” and other NAACP initiatives.

The public was invited and encouraged to attend both forums. 
The NAACP Financial Freedom Campaign

The NAACP Financial Freedom Campaign, is an initiative to influence change in the banking industry, prevent unfair mortgage lending practices, protect the community against predatory mortgage lending practices, improve fair credit access, and promote sustainable homeownership, financial education and wealth building strategies in historically disadvantaged communities.  The agreement with Wells Fargo and NAACP was initiated through a partnership. Wells Fargo became the first bank to endorse the NAACP’s Responsible Mortgage Lending Principles.

Jeanetta Williams President, NAACP Salt Lake Branch & Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada & Utah
jdwnaacp@att.net  (801) 250-5088  www.naacp-saltlakebranch.org

The Branch’s Education Chair, is James Yapias. This committee has worked on the NAACP’s School to Prison Pipeline program. At the 2014 Annual Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Luncheon, the speaker was Monique Lin-Luse, Special Counsel, Education Group, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund, Inc. She was selected to speak because of her background with School to Prison Pipeline.
North Davis Preparatory Academy
First graders at North Davis Preparatory Academy were asked to dress in black and paint their faces black for a holiday play observing a Spanish tradition. President Jeanetta Williams intervened. As a result, numerous discussions were held with the Principal and the State Office of Education with President, Jeanetta Williams. At the urging of President Williams, the school agreed that they would participate in a full 1-2 day training. This training will be done in conjunction with the Utah State Office of Education and a team with the Metropolitan State University of Denver including the Executive Director, Equal Opportunity and Assistant to the President, Office of the President/Equal Opportunity Office, Metropolitan State University of Denver, EEO/AA office for the university.
Tooele, Utah Stabbing Death
Upon receiving a telephone call from the parents of a 17 year old African American High School student, Jesse Horowitz that their son was killed, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch began its investigation. President, Jeanetta Williams called upon the U.S. Attorney’s office to fully investigate the incident to determine if race was a factor.
A local newspaper reported the following: The NAACP of Salt Lake City is investigating the stabbing death of a Tooele County teenager who was killed in a fight early Saturday, April 26 at a Stansbury Park elementary school area.
Jesse Horowitz, 17, had gone to Stansbury Elementary School to watch a fistfight between a friend and another boy who were competing for the affections of a girl, investigators have said. A group of teenagers and young men gathered as spectators, but as the crowd became volatile, one man began insulting and challenging Horowitz, who ultimately was stabbed several times in the chest.
Horowitz was Black; the rest of the group was mostly, if not entirely, white, said Jeanetta Williams, president of the local NAACP branch.
"Jesse was the only African American who was there, he was the only one who was hurt, and he was the only one who was killed," Williams said.
The NAACP wants to learn more about what occurred at the scene, what people said to each other during the fight — and, particularly, why a knife was brought to a simple fistfight and used against a teenager who was not a party to the dispute at hand, Williams said.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions," Williams said. "We want to make sure we’re investing to see if this had anything to do or did not have anything to do with race. It’s incumbent upon the NAACP as a civil rights organization to look into it. We would look into it if it was the other way around — a lot of black kids there, and the one white kid gets stabbed."
NAACP Salt Lake Branch Commemorated the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin L. King Jr.
The film "Freedom Riders" was shown at the City Library Auditorium on Saturday, April 5, 2014 to the public to commemorate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin L. King Jr. The National Endowment for the Humanities partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for this site working with the NAACP Salt Lake Branch.
On Thursday, April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed while standing on a balcony outside his second floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers.
Brown v. Board of Education
The Salt Lake Branch commemorated the 60th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education on Saturday, May 17, 2014 with community awareness.
Health Care Forum
The NAACP held a Health Care Forum to better educate the public about the Affordable Care Act. In an effort to reach out to the communit, we wanted to give this opportunity to the public. This was a one on one discussion about Health Plans and the Affordable Health Care that was open to the community at no charge and without an appointment. The NAACP Salt Lake Branch Sponsored this Forum with Arches Health Plan on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Utah State Bar Law and Justice Center, 645 South 200 East (Rosa Parks Blvd.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hurricane, Utah; Man facing criminal charges for hate crimes
A 70-year-old White Hurricane man faced criminal charges for hate crimes in state and federal court for allegedly writing threatening letters to neighbors in a housing complex after an African-American male who is 14 years old moved in with his sister and her husband, who are White.
Robert Keller was charged in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City with a misdemeanor violation of the Fair Housing Act. Keller also faces a state misdemeanor charge of harassment in state court in Washington County.
The investigating officer said video from a surveillance camera allowed the couple to identify Keller, who lived in the same complex. He was charged with a state crime on Dec. 31, 2013.
Newspapers reported that Jeanetta Williams, President of the Tri-State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said she brought the case to the attention of federal authorities after receiving a complaint from the couple.
After an investigation by the FBI and Hurricane police, the federal charge also was filed against Keller.
Keller was arrested Tuesday May 20, 2014 on a federal warrant. U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said via email that Keller failed to arrive at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse where his case is being heard for an initial appearance on May 8. “We agreed to reach out to see if the summons had been served and to make sure he knew when the next court date was,” Rydalch stated. When Keller again failed to appear Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse approved the prosecution’s request for the arrest warrant. He was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly before 5 p.m.
Life Membership and Freedom Fund Committee/Membership Committee
January and October of each year, this committee organizes the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Luncheon and Freedom Fund Banquet. Memberships are solicited at each event. The speaker at the Life Membership and Freedom Fund Banquet in 2013 was Benjamin Todd Jealous, (now former) President & CEO of the NAACP. The Albert B. Fritz Civil Rights Worker of the Year Award was presented to attorney Alain Balmanno. This award was named after the former President of the NAACP. This award is presented as an effort to recognize dedicated service to the community and humanity.
Justice for Trayvon Martin Law Enforcement Forum’s
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch hosted an educational forum Monday, April 2, 2012 at the Law and Justice Center to support justice for Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by 28 year-old George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch person in Sanford, Florida. The fatal shooting of unarmed Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old African American took place on February 26, 2012.
These law enforcement education forums were open to the community free of charge. Speakers at the 1st Session in March gave recognition to National Women’s History Month were Shauna Graves-Robertson, Utah Third District Justice Court Judge and Kathryn N. Nester, Federal Public Defender for the District of Utah. The 2nd Series Speakers were David B. Barlow and Chief Buzz Nielsen.  David B. Barlow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah (who since has resigned) discussed his responsibilities as the U.S. Attorney and their mission to protect and serve the citizens of the District of Utah through the ethical, vigorous and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States.  Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen, Chief of Police for West Valley City (who since has retired) discussed the understanding of police procedures during an arrest, police reports and the Citizens Professional Standards Review Board. The 3rd Series Speakers were Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney & Jim Winder, Salt Lake County Sheriff. On June 4th, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. the 4th Series of Speakers were Special Agent Cameron Saxey of the FBI and Major Mike Kuehn from the Utah Highway Patrol.
At these events, the Branch compiled information and distributed brochures on Interacting with Law Enforcement. 
NAACP Salt Lake Branch Addresses Legislation throughout the Year and mainly during the Legislative Session. Payday Lenders Bill has been one topic that the NAACP has been supportive. The branch was successful with the passing of the 2019 Hate Crimes Bill that was signed into law by Governer Herbert.
Previously, there was HB363 Education Sex Bill; the NAACP Salt Lake Branch was instrumental in signing petitions and making telephone calls to Governor Gary Herbert asking him to veto the controversial Education Sex Bill after it passed during the 2012 legislative session. This was a bill that would change Utah’s public schools’ abstinence-based sex-ed curriculum to abstinence only. The NAACP along with others was successful in these efforts when Governor Herbert vetoed this Bill in March 2012.
Police Shooting in Saratoga Springs, UT
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch President, Jeanetta Wiliams called upon the US Dept of Justice to investigate the shooting death of Darrin Hunt's shooting by police. He was 22 years old and shot in the back. A press conference held by the NAACP was attended by the family of Darrien Hunt, the family attorney, Bob Sykes and NAACP attorney Alain Balmanno.

Black History Month
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch will host a number of events. For additional information call (801) 250-5088.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Luncheon is held on the 3rd Monday in January of each year 

2012 Luncheon Highlights
Recognition was given to M. Lynn Bennion Elementary School by the NAACP Salt Lake Branch at the 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Luncheon, January 2012. James E. Yapias, Principal accepted the Award of Excellence for the Top Performing Title I School in Salt Lake City. This School was adopted by the NAACP Salt Lake Branch. Student winners of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary were presented at the luncheon. The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Violin Group performed for the audience.  

The keynote speaker was Avery Friedman, Civil Rights Attorney who serves as CNN’s Weekend Legal Analyst every Saturday, bringing a human rights perspective to America’s hottest legal cases to over 3,000,000 viewers each week.

Tyrone Medley, Third District Judge for the state of Utah, received the 2012 NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Award and Gloria Wilkinson, vice president of community relations at Zions Bank, received the Rosa Parks Award.  

The Utah Jazz and NAACP Salt Lake Branch presented scholarships to students attending Utah Colleges. 

2012 Christmas Sub for Santa
December 2012, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch joined with a foundation and the Jazz Bear for Sub for Santa. We took two buses of 50 youth up to age 16 shopping with adults to the Springville, Utah, Wal-Mart allowing up to $100 each to shop. Our volunteers from the NAACP Salt Lake Branch and New Pilgrim Baptist Church were happy to help, and the youth were thrilled to receive heartwarming gifts. 


Jazz Bear Event, Civil Rights Organization in Salt Lake City, UT

Anti-Bullying Resolution
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch initiated the 2009 Anti-Bullying Resolution that was passed by the convention delegates and later ratified by the Board of Directors, thus making this a policy of the Association.

The NAACP calls for all schools to have effective anti-bullying and anti-harassment programs.

The NAACP calls upon all schools to implement anti-bullying training for all personnel.  School officials shall have students pledge not to bully or harass other students, to help students who are bullied or harassed, and to report all cases to school officials.

The NAACP calls upon all school districts to maintain and report data regarding all incidents of bullying and harassment

The NAACP calls upon all schools to offer effective counseling for perpetrators and victims of bullying and harassment.

The NAACP calls upon states and school districts to submit statistical data regarding bullying incidents to the United States Department of Justice in order to develop effective federal, state, and local anti-bullying policies. The NAACP calls upon schools to raise awareness regarding bullying and harassing, increase teacher and parent involvement and supervision, form clear rules and strong social norms against bullying and harassing, and provide support and protection for all students. This approach should involve teachers, principals, students and everyone associated with the school, including maintenance staff, food services staff, security guards, and crossing guards.

Bullying must be monitored and actions taken to stop it. The NAACP suggests these recommendations because of our desire to assure students that when they attend schools to learn, they will be safe and there will not be a need for them to be afraid of being bullied.

Changing Human Rights Day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
It was the initiative of Jeanetta Williams, President of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch to change Human Rights Day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At the same time she explored changing the start date of the legislative session from the third Monday in January to the third Tuesday in January. The Bill to change the start date was sponsored by the late Senator Pete Suazo and Representative Duane Bourdeaux failed in committee. However, the Bill to change the name from Human Rights Day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day passed.

It was at the 2001 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Luncheon that the NAACP Salt Lake Branch announced its appreciation and gratitude of the first official year to celebrate Utah’s name change from Human Rights Day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day.

The Branch thanked the late Senator Pete Suazo andRepresentative Duane Bourdeaux who sponsored the Bill for the name change of Human Rights Day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Former Senate President Lane Beatty and former House Speaker Marty Stephens were instrumental with this Bill and the many Co-Sponsors in the Senate andHouse. There was very strong by-partisan support. Assistance came from Edward Lewis Jr., President of the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada, Utah. Letters of support came from Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, Kweisi Mfume, NAACP President & CEO, Rocky Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City, the late Gerald Wright, Mayor of West Valley City, John Patterson, former City Manager of West Valley City, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, The Utah Jazz, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), League of Women Voters, Rev. France Davis and Rev. Jerome Council. Support also came from KSL, Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune Editorials.

The Bill passed in the Senate and House. Michael Leavitt, Governor of Utah signed the bill into law Thursday, March 16, 2000.  

October 2000, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch honored the late Senator Pete Suazo and Representative Duane Bourdeaux with the Albert Fritz Civil Rights Workers of the Year Award.

Less than a year later on August 19, 2001, Senator Suazo was killed in an ATV accident.

Representative Bourdeaux continued his Legislative work and retired in 2006. He received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Worker of the Year Award, January 2006.  

Changing the Utah Constitution
The Bill to change the start date of the legislative session was sponsored by the late Senator Pete Suazo and Representative Duane Bourdeaux but failed in committee. During the 2007 Legislative session Representative Ralph Becker (D) led the initial effort and was joined by Senator John Valentine (R) to sponsor and lobby both political parties of the Utah Legislature to support a joint resolution proposing to amend the Utah Constitution to modify a provision relating to the annual general sessions of the Legislature. The NAACP Salt Lake Branch lobbied for support by the House and Senate. This resolution proposed to amend the Utah Constitution to change the beginning of the annual general sessions of the Legislature from the third Monday in January which is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to the 4th Monday in January. Both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders announced support within weeks of the beginning of the 2007 session for a constitutional amendment that would delay the start of the Utah Legislature until after Martin Luther King Day.

Because the start date of the legislative session is set by the state Constitution as the third Monday in January, the resolution to change the start date needed the votes of two-thirds of both the House and Senate to place it on the 2008 general election ballot. It passed unanimous on both sides. 

The NAACP Salt Lake Branch worked diligently to bring awareness of this legislation and urging Utah citizens to vote in support of changing the Utah Constitution on the November 2008 ballot.

Utah Constitutional Amendment C with the following language passed.

  • Change the start of the Legislature's annual general session from the third Monday in January to the fourth Monday in January; and
  • Exclude federal holidays from the calculation of the 45-day limit on annual general sessions of the Legislature

NAACP opposition to private school vouchers
No battle, perhaps, has been more arduous than being a combatant in Utah’s Referendum 1, the ballot question that asked the state’s electorate to decide whether public money would be used for private school vouchers or not be used for private school vouchers.

In the yes or no proposition, Referendum 1 went down to resounding defeat with 62 percent of voters statewide casting a no vote. The opposition to private school voucher was lead by Utahns for Public Schools, including the Utah PTA, Utah Education Association and the NAACP.

At the appropriate time to bestow accolades and say thank you to those who from the start opposed the law passed by the State Legislature during the general session in January 2007 and later signed into law by the governor, Jeanetta Williams was one of six presented “Heroes of Education Awards” by the Utah School Boards Association (USBA) during its 2008, 85th Convention at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

“This award is not given annually, but it is given occasionally to those who make a profound difference to education in our state. This is such a year,” said Delanie Hathaway, 1st vice president of the USBA and president of the Juab County School Board.

“These individuals who are being presented Heroes of Education Awards put their names on the petition that set in motion our effort to defeat the voucher process and did so with risk of political fallout,” Hathaway said. “Some are now experiencing that political fallout.”

Jeanetta Williams was awarded with “The Keeper of the Flame” award at the NAACP National Convention by the Labor Unions at their luncheon.

Fight to maintain Affirmative Action in Utah
The NAACP Salt Lake Branch opposed resolutions of the 2010 and 2011 Utah Legislatures proposing amending the Utah Constitution to abolish Affirmative Action. The Branch sent letters and telephoned all Utah Legislators voicing our opposition to defeat these Bills. The NAACP worked with other groups in this effort and defeated these proposals each year.

Affirmative Actions was developed and enforced for the first time by Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States of America. Affirmative Action is used to combat discrimination and promote equal opportunity in education and employment for all. Affirmative Action is the country's obligation to provide equitable treatment for people unfairly shut out of societal systems.

The current scope of affirmative action programs is best understood as an outgrowth and continuation of our national effort to remedy subjugation of racial and ethnic minorities and of women -- subjugation in place at our nation's founding and still the law of the land. Affirmative efforts did not truly take hold until it became clear that anti-discrimination statutes alone were not enough to break longstanding patterns of discrimination.

For much of this century, racial and ethnic minorities and women have confronted legal and social exclusion. Focusing in particular on education and jobs, affirmative action policies required that active measures be taken to ensure that Blacks and other minorities enjoyed the same opportunities for promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid that had been the nearly exclusive province of Whites. 

Other Branch Activities

• Voter Registration
• 2010 Census
• Needy Families at Christmas
• Health Forums
• Education Forums
• Veteran's Activities
• Clean Air Awareness