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Statement from NAACP New England re: NH bill HB 544

Letter from the NAACP NEW ENGLAND AREA CONFERENCE

Juan M. Cofield, President

West Roxbury, MA


May 13, 2021

The Honorable Linda Harriott-Gathright

New Hampshire State Representative

New Hampshire State Senate

New Hampshire State House

107 N. Main Street

Concord, NH 03301-6312

Dear Representative Harriott-Gathright:

As you are aware, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), New England Area Conference (NEAC), is the governing and coordinating entity of the NAACP for Branches in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. NEAC has the sole authority to advocate for state legislative and policy issues within above named states on behalf of the NAACP.

Pursuant to said authority, NEAC has voted unanimously to formally oppose the “Divisive Concept” language and its ramifications in Budget Bill HB 2 Amendment and in the standalone bill HB 544. Further, I delegate my authority to you to represent NEAC’s position on this matter to both Houses of the NH legislature and in any public forums, as the opportunity may arise.

The amendment and bill protect those who benefit from maintaining a status quo that denies history, silences lived experience, and keeps communities divided. The Divisive Concepts thought reflects an actual concept to deny the extent of harm caused by institutional and historical inequities. It continues to perpetuate such harm and it, in and of itself, is divisive and harmful to New Hampshire citizens.

Your prompt attention will be greatly appreciated.

Yours truly,

Juan M. Cofield


President

cc: Linda Gathright, President, NAACP, Greater Nashua Area Branch

James T. McKim, Jr., President, NAACP, Manchester Branch

James E. Kaddy, President, NAACP, Seacoast Area Branch

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