Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 19th, 2015

We All Have a Dream

With all the hate and terrorism facing us each and every day – the message of Dr. Martin Luther King is more important today than ever before.

As ceremonies are held across our nation remembering Dr. King’s landmark
“I Had a Dream” Speech –

We must all reflect on what we can all do right here in Sullivan County to make certain that all are treated equal no matter ones race, creed, color, sexual orientation, ethnic background, or socio economic status.

We have a lot of problems in Sullivan County, but we cannot begin to work to solve them unless we all work together.

In commemoration of the life, vision and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr the Sullivan County Branch of the NAACP invites you to our community celebration. The event will be held today Monday, January 19, 2015 from 5-7PM, at the Ted Stroebel Community Center, 2 Jefferson St. Monticello NY 12701.

Inspired by the program she organized Event Coordinator and NAACP Member Janette Williams stated “We are coming together in memory of one of the greatest.” Ms. Williams shared, “I am excited to announce this beautiful tribute will include our famous and beloved DJ Shaka Tee, phenomenal poet Oliver King, Lori James accompanied by Students from Nesin Cultural Arts, SCOR Steppers, Eric Monroe Sullivan County Human Rights Chairman, Salem Baptist Church Youth Group, Kadin Brennan, Jadin Williams, Kyaza Turane, Faith Sanders, Anissa Sanders and a few surprises.”

Sullivan County advocate Sandra Cuellar Oxford was recently named the new President of Sullivan County’s NAACP.

Sandra Oxford Branch President echoed the invite, “Come out this evening and join us for a creative and dynamic event, the diverse program aims to reach high up to Dr. Kings message. Newly elected into a leadership role I ask myself, what will be our collective blueprint for moving closer to the Beloved Community? The larger-than-life concept of the Beloved Community which mobilized generations of Americans into action in our neighborhoods and our nation.”

Quoting Dr. King, “In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

Oxford concluded, “Tonight we will come together as so many have before us, we will dream, we will support the vision of our Elders and that of our Youth. We will recognize a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement who represents a pivotal social change in the United States and inspired so many throughout the world.”

The program will begin at 5:00pm please contact Elaine Williams for additional information at 845-807-6729.

The NAACP is a membership organization, annual dues are $30 per year, and membership drives are on-going in order to meet the benchmarks put forth by the NAACP. The work of the Sullivan County branch is clearly defined by NAACP National and the NYS NAACP’S executive leadership. Each NAACP Branch must have 5 standing committees: 1. Economic Sustainability, 2.Education, 3. Health, 4. Public Safety and Criminal Justice and 5.Voting Rights and Political Representation.

Sandy Oxford is joined by a remarkable group of people who have made the commitment to serve on the Executive Committee.

First Chair-Sandra Johnson Fields is has raised her family for over a decade in Sullivan County. She has provided her unique brand of governance as a school administrator and is a constant voice of empowerment and encouragement to parents and students.

Treasurer-Gladys Walker is truly a treasure and recently retired after three decades of service and leadership of the largest anti-poverty, multi-service organization in Sullivan County. Aside from the multitude of professional experiences, her family’s rich history in Sullivan County is equally cherished.

Reelected Secretary-Elaine Williams brings a life time of civil rights activism, leadership and NAACP organizational experience to our executive board. Her knowledge remains a constant driving force today as it has been throughout the various social movements she has contributed to.

Second Vice Chair-David Ryan lives between Sullivan and Chenango County, is a civil engineer and offers diversity of experience and skills to our newly elected executive board.

Oxford said she plans to keep the message of Dr. King’s alive in Sullivan County. “As the Sullivan County NAACP Branch proudly enters a new year; our county is in the midst of transformation, it is essential to ensure to that our members and our community has a seat at the table.”

Oxford said a recent example brought to her attention is that it appears in the Monticello Government Center there is only one African American male employed in the entire building. “That in itself is stunning to me. And to add insult to injury it is not even a full-time position.”

“Economic sustainability and access to stable employment should not be a privilege nor should political patronage ever play a part in deciding employment, but it does.”

Oxford said, “Looking at the various agencies and offices in our County and Municipal Governments reveals a lot about the organizational culture of each one of those departments in Sullivan County. If we are going to take pages from anyone’s book let it be those departments, agencies or municipalities in Sullivan County who have made a sincere and honest attempt to build bridges across the racial and cultural divide. On the surface without specific data it appears that local diversity and representation is stronger in Law Enforcement agencies locally than other governmental agencies.”

“Two examples are Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Monticello Police Department, both agencies have cultivated a cadre of law enforcement professionals from diverse backgrounds.”

Oxford added, “With the introduction of Casino Gambling into our local economy it will be imperative that this industry not mimic the failed employment practices of the past that limited or excluded diversity from the ranks of their leadership; this is an area I anticipate our Sullivan County Branch will be vigorously involved in.”

Despite all of our problems, Oxford said she remains inspired.

“Sullivan County may have its fair share of “issues” we also have great strengths and assets that are unique and exclusive to our region. Sullivan County will ‘break out from the bottom’ of poor health indicators. I am particularly optimistic in this area because of the leadership found on the frontlines of addressing these health disparities. As the Department of Health and Family Services continues to address internal and external fraud and waste in the system, I believe that it is crucial to support courageous leadership and rank-and-file workers locally that are willing to confront, speak out and blow the whistle on the corruption. Backing good leadership is just as crucial as cultivating new leadership. Creating opportunities for emerging leaders in various capacities will be foremost in moving Sullivan County ahead.”

As we celebrate the work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King and as the Sullivan County Branch of the NAACP continues its journey – We must always remember the original intent and message.

Indeed – We all must have the Dream for Peace and Equality. Hopefully one day it will be achieved.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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