NAACP: Coming to Kootenai County

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I am writing to express my appreciation for a dedicated group of people working to make our community stronger. James McDay and his team at The Other Choice Diversity Resource are in the process of creating a chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) here in Kootenai County. The NAACP is a non-partisan civil rights organization that has been fighting for equality for more than 100 years. Their mission is to secure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. The NAACP has evolved over the years to address current and emerging issues like bullying and environmental justice.

The Kootenai County chapter already has more than 50 members, and is looking to grow to 100. There is a false perception that North Idaho does not have a diverse population that needs support. I challenge you to go to McEuen Park on any sunny afternoon if you think this is the case. I am often there with my son, and I see families of all races and ethnicities playing together. These mothers, fathers and children deserve the same chance at happiness and success as my family. There are still barriers, real and perceived, that stop that from happening.

I love Coeur d’Alene and don’t want to see smart, talented people leaving my community because they don’t feel welcome. Together, we can continue to build and thrive!

For more information, visit https://www.tocdiversityresource.org.

HANNAH PATON

Coeur d’Alene

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