Education Blog

Scholarship Application Available

Beaumont Branch NAACP SCHOLARSHIP FORM/APPLICATION

Dear Applicant:

The Beaumont Branch of the NAACP is an organization that encourages young men and women

to achieve excellence through higher education. We support this focus by awarding three scholarships to graduating seniors who will be attending an UNCF College/University, Lamar University and the Lamar family (LIT Beaumont, Orange and Pt. Arthur) and exemplify

academic excellence, strong leadership, and community involvement.

The NAACP Beaumont Scholarship Program is available to students entering and maintaining full time status at an approved, accredited, post-secondary institution beginning in the fall of the current year. Applicants must meet ALL of the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA and deadlines to qualify. Any scholarship award must be applied toward tuition, room, board and, books. Checks will be mailed from the Beaumont office and made payable to the certified institution. Individuals applying for a scholarship must forward one completed application packet to the address below. Application packets must be postmarked no later than April 10th, 2017. Facsimiles and incomplete packets will not be accepted. Award letters will be forwarded to recipients by May 8th, 2017. Mail your complete application packets to:

Beaumont Branch NAACP

ATTN: Scholarship Committee

3260 Washington Blvd.

Beaumont, Texas 77705

Phone: 409- 842-0294

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  • High school student transitioning to higher education at UNCF College/University, Lamar University and the LIT family

  • Minimum grade point average of 2.5

  • Plans to attend school for entire academic year, beginning in the fall

  • Community service within past 12-months with certified documentation

  • Leadership involvement

IN PERSON INTERVIEW

Each finalist applicant will be scheduled for an in-person interview at the NAACP Office, 3260 Washington Beaumont, TX. Finalist applicants will be notified of the time and date of the interview.

Essay

***Applicants are required to submit a typed and double-space 600 minimum words essay on the following topic. Your essay must be forwarded along with your completed application.

Priorities reveals much about a person’s character, morality, and personality. Share your top three priorities and explain “why they are your top three.”

Official Academic Transcript

Applicants must request an official academic transcript from their high school. Transcripts must be included in the packets.

Educate Over Incarcerate

The Problem
Over the last two decades, prison spending in the United States has increased 6 times more than spending on higher education, while higher education costs are being shifted to students and parents. Prison spending is costly and undermines the quality of life for all Americans.

Facts:

  • America has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.
  • Americans spend $70 billion annually to incarcerate 2.3 million of people in prison and jail, to keep millions more under parole and probation supervision.
  • Between 1980 and 2006, after health care, prisons saw the second biggest increase in state spending and spending for higher education, K-12 schooling declined.
  • During the latest recession, thirty-three (33) of the 50 states, spending on corrections increased more than previous year, as state spending for K-12 and higher education decreased.
  • Between 1987 and 2007, state spending on corrections grew 6 times the rate of spending on higher ed.

From One in 100: Americans Behind Bars. (2008). Washington, DC: Pew Center on the States and the Public Safety Performance Project.

Solution: Time to shift resources from prison budgets to education budgets through establishing reinvestment commissions and implementing their recommendations.
How to ensure Education over Incarceration?

 

Problem: Over the last two decades, the spending on prisons in the United States has increased
6 times more than spending on higher education, while higher education costs are being shifted to students and parents. Prison spending is costly and undermines the quality of life for all Americans.
What is a Reinvestment Commission?
A Reinvestment Commission, independent government entity established through legislation or executive order by Governor, brings together individuals seeking to reform current criminal justice policies. These key players may be prosecutors, judges, police executives, defense attorneys, researchers of criminal justice, and community members. The purpose of a Reinvestment Commission is to get various members of the community to identify criminal justice alternatives, reduce prison populations, and save state dollars. Commissions will research and recommend ways to change their state’s policies and practices so that resources from the prison budget will be shifted to the education budget, while reducing the local prison population.
How will the Reinvestment Commission help?
States like New Jersey, Texas, and Michigan have used Commissions to downsize prisons and save millions. States have enacted recommendations from commissions that have eliminated mandatory minimums, reduce technical violations that send low-level offenders back to prisons and eliminate racial disparities in incarceration. What is new about Reinvestment Commissions is that savings from reforms will be reallocated to education budgets.

Call to Action

Governments can free up hundreds of millions of dollars from prison spending to reinvest in education and other vital community needs. But saving money depends on the boldness of public officials to take action to reverse the policies that have contributed to prison expansion. In an effort to generate that political will, the NAACP is calling on all State units to engage elected officials to advance and establish legislative Reinvestment Commissions.
Reinvestment Commissions are entities created to identify legislative and policy changes to criminal justice policies that will reduce prison populations and shift savings from downscaled prisons to educational institutions.
In efforts to successfully advance the Reinvestment Commission, the NAACP and allies will establish coalition partners of likely and unlikely allies, conduct best practices research on criminal justice commissions, educate and lobby elected officials, organize on college campus, and mobilize State NAACP units to hold elected official accountable for establishing a Reinvestment Commission.

Call to Action Components

Educate Over Incarcerate Coalition- The NAACP will establish an Educate over Incarcerate Coalition that will provide policy research, analysis and advocacy to advance and support the Reinvestment Commission.
Media and Messaging Campaign- The NAACP will advance a media and messaging campaign that will inform the public on the states’ over investment in prisons at the expense of educational opportunity and to convince adults and youth that their active involvement in the Educate over Incarcerate Coalition is essential to getting states back on track with how it invests its public dollars.
Research and Best Practices- The Educate over Incarcerate Coalition will provide research and best practices to highlight the benefits and potential of a Reinvestment Commission. Educate and Lobby Elected Officials- The Educate over Incarcerate Coalition will effective lobby elected official to support and advance a Reinvestment Commission.
Organize on College Campuses- The NAACP Youth and College Division can organize teach-ins, events and activities that will enlist college students’, professors’, and University Administrators’ support and participation in the Educate Over Incarcerate Coalition efforts.

Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated People

The Problem: Voter disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated people undermines successfully reentry from prison and reduces voting power of entire communities.

The Facts:

  • Over 2 million have completed their sentence of imprisonment, parole, or probation.
  • 600,000 people return home from prison each year.
  • The US has 5% of the world’s population, but 50% of those who are prevented from voting by a criminal conviction reside in US.
  • 1.4 million African American men, or 13% of black men, are disenfranchised; a rate seven times the national average.
  • Maine and Vermont are the only states that allow inmates to vote.

 

Fact Sheet: The Sentencing Project: FELONY DISENFRANCHISEMENT LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES, March 2010
Sources: Jamie Fellner and Marc Mauer, Losing the Vote: The Impact of Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States, Human Rights Watch, The Sentencing Project, October 1998;
How to eliminate racial discrimination in jury selections?

Solution: Fully restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated people one they are released from prison.

The Problem: Voter disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated people undermines successfully reentry from prison and reduces voting power of entire communities.

How can we restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated people? Policy reforms at the state level must be geared to fully restoring voting rights of formerly incarcerated. This will take state by state advocacy.

—Call to Action—

In order to restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated people at the State level, the NAACP units must organize state policy efforts that changes laws that prohibit voting rights for returning citizens.

— Call to Action Components —

Public Hearings- Organize public hearings to educate members of the community about the im- pact of voter disenfranchisement on individuals and entire communities. Focus discussions on how communities can better vote for and get the things it needs when everybody has the right to vote.

Engage Formerly Incarcerated People to Join the Effort- Conduct outreach efforts that specifically target formerly incarcerated people.
Encourage them to join the NAACP and fight for their rights.

Organize a coalition– Identify leaders and partners to join your efforts and establish a coalition that will fight for voting rights for formerly incarcerated people. If the vote rights coalition already exist, meet with the leaders and join if possible.

Increase Public Awareness: Develop a public awareness campaign on the need for formerly in- carcerated people to have the right to vote. Voter disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated people undermines the political power of the entire community.

Advance Policy Options: Take your campaign to state lawmakers and work to pass laws that will give formerly incarcerated people their right to vote.

Eliminate Zero Tolerance Policies in School

The problem: Nationwide, students of color experience rates of punishments in school – ranging from office referrals to corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion – that far exceed their numbers in the school population or the share of offenses they commit.

The Facts:

  • Nationwide, African Americans are arrested at 2.1 times the rate of white youth. For violent crimes, African Americans are arrested at 3.5 times the rate of white youth.
  • Largely as a result of zero tolerance policies, African American public students are suspended three times more than their white counterparts.
  • Students who have been suspended from school are three times more likely to drop out than those who have never been suspended.
  • Students who drop out of school are three times more likely to be incarcerated.

Largely as a result of zero tolerance policies, African American public students are suspended three times more than their white counterparts.

How Do We Eliminate Zero Tolerance Policies?

The Solution: By reviewing the zero tolerance policies we can educate administrators, teachers, and community members about their impact. Awareness will create the need for comprehensive solutions to the need for a safe and conducive learning environment for all children.

The Problem: Nationwide, students of color experience rates of punishments in school that far ex- ceed their numbers in the school population or the share of offenses they commit.

Why is it important to eliminate zero tolerance policies?

Zero tolerance policies are intended to improve behavior in an effort to provide a safe learning en- vironment for students. Unfortunately, the nature of these policies punishes children for petty crimes, and disproportionately affects children of color. Not all students of these are guaranteed a safe and conducive learning environment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that zero tolerance policies have been effective in changing behavior and making school safer.

How can reforming school discipline policies improve the safety of all students?

Current zero tolerance policies disproportionately affect students of color. These children are not afforded the same learning environment as their white peers. By eliminating zero tolerance policies, to be replaced with comprehensive solutions, we can ensure that all children are safe and learning while at school.

— Call to Action –

In an effort to reverse current national ineffective discipline policies, the NAACP calls on all units to review the discipline policies in their community, focusing on zero tolerance policies. Only through creating awareness about these harsh policies can community members come together to create solutions that will provide a safe and conducive learning environment for all students.

— Call to Action Components —

Review the Discipline Policies – The NAACP units must actively review the discipline policies in their communities. Units may choose to form a specialized committee or use their standing edu- cation committee. Form a commission of stakeholders (parents, university researchers, students, teachers etc) to review a school or district’s discipline policy – especially if it is a zero-tolerance policy – and compare it to more beneficial policies from around the country.

Create Change Amongst School Administrators – In order for change to occur, you will need school administrators to understand how these policies are ineffective at achieving a safe and conducive environment for all students. School Leader Interventions are strategies which educate and sensitize principals individually or collectively to the impacts of discipline policies and make them aware of alternative discipline methods that do not exclude students from school.

Report the Disparities – By compiling a report that highlights the disparate impact of discipline policies on students of color and poor students in a school or district you can highlight the problems with the policies. Feel free to share these with school administrators, teachers, parents, and com- munity leaders. These points will make great talking points for letters to the editor as well.