Social Justice Fact Sheet

White woman masquerading as black resigned from NAACP chapter presidencyRachel Dolezal resigned as president of the Spokane, WA NAACP when it became clear that she was a white woman portraying herself as black. As a Howard University student in 2002, Dolezal sued the school for discriminating against her – for being white.’

Criminal Justice
About 1% of the American population (or 10% of adults) is in jail – much higher numbers than any other country in the world. Most of the imprisoned are black and brown people.
NAACP Criminal Justice Factsheet
Attorney Michelle Alexander-West’s book The New Jim Crow unveils the processes which have driven this explosion in the prison population.
Prison-based gerrymandering means that towns housing prisons get to declare inmates as belonging to their town, which drives down median income figures and qualifies towns and counties for government grants they wouldn’t qualify for otherwise.
Inmates making phone calls may be charged up to $10 just to be connected speak to their families.

Civil Rights
Jena 6 persecution in Jena Louisiana in 2006

Howard Witt (of the Chicago Tribune) reported that the six students faced prosecution for charges including second degree attempted murder – and possible prison sentences of up to 100 years – for allegedly participating in an unarmed school brawl that resulted in no serious injuries. The alleged brawl followed months of racial tension after hangman’s nooses were hung from a tree at the students’ school.

Education Justice – the Attacks on Public Education
Attacks on Public Education are destroying communities and school systems around the country. Chicago’s Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 49 schools in 1 day. Recently, the last public school closed in New Orleans, LA. At least 10 public schools were closed in Newark and the community fights to keep over than 12 more schools from being closed. 23 schools were closed in Philadelphia in order to fund a new $400 million prison Death by 1000 Cuts is a well-documented white paper that shows how it’s being done.

Help BCC NAACP accomplish even more in 2015-16 – join or donate!

Accomplishments flier v 2015This year’s accomplishments flyer lists some of the BCC NAACP’s successes in our first 3 years in action. These are some activities planned for this year:

Voter Education Forum • Voter registration • GOTV • Activism & Undoing Racism trainings • Social/Environmental Justice Film Screenings • Nature Hikes • Annual Summer BBQ • Newark Break Bread with homeless • College success workshops • Monthly speakers • Freedom Fund Dinner • Blood Drive • Advocacy Projects: Food and Climate Justice, Save the Internet, Get Big Money out of general elections, Protect Public Education, Anti-violence

Donate to the chapter or join it and help us accomplish even more this school year!

Meetings
4:30-5pm
Wednesdays in C320

For more information or to make a donation, contact Pres. Ari Lopez Wei 201-357-7341 or bccnaacp2012@gmail.com.

Join the BCC NAACP & become a positive change maker!

Accomplishments flier v 2015The BCC NAACP meets every week. Join us and become a positive change maker.

4:30-5pm
Wednesdays in C320

For more information, contact Pres. Ari Lopez Wei 201-357-7341 or bccnaacp2012@gmail.com.

Chapter Accomplishments (2014 version)

BCC NAACP accomplishmentsThis is what the BCC NAACP has accomplished in our first two years!

BCC NAACP Prez Ivan Wei interviewed on WCBS Radio


Bergen Community College’s NAACP Chapter president is also President of the New Jersey State NAACP Youth & College Division of the NAACP … and he Chairs the Youth & College Division of NAACP Region 2 (Northeast United States from Delaware to Maine). Ivan Gomez Wei’s multi-cultural background caught the attention of WCBS News Radio Reporter Levon Putney, who interviewed him last week. The segment aired throughout the day on 880 AM this past Sunday, Feb 23 2014. Like it?

BCC NAACP Chapter accomplishments Aug 2012-October 2013. Thanks, everyone!

BCC NAACP Accomplishments FlierThe BCC NAACP chapter has only been established for one year since August of 2012, but in that year we have accomplished so much! We’ve become the largest college chapter in New Jersey with over 70 members. Our president and founder, Ivan Wei, travelled to the national convention in Florida last June to represent us and while he was there, Ivan was elected NAACP Region II Youth and College Chair – Congratulations Prez!

Our chapter partnered with a bunch of different clubs to create the first ever BCC NAACP Voter Education Forum, which drew a crowd of about 250 students, faculty and administrators to hear keynote Barbara Buono, and engage with our excellent panel. We hope to make this an annual event. And, we have registered over 500 voters this past year.

We brought a Half the Sky documentary screening to Bergen, along with a speaker from Half the Sky Foundation who spearheaded a discussion about the important global women’s rights issues raised in the film. The Women’s Club donated food and beverages, and co-hosted this event along with several other clubs.

Last week, we once again rounded up a group of NAACPers, Kokokidz and Madres por Obama, and headed to FP Youth Outcry‘s annual Break Bread With You Thanksgiving celebration, where we donated food, clothing; served food to and shared meals with, Newark’s homeless for the second year.

Thanks go out to Dr. Milon (our chapter advisor), BCC faculty and staff, our partner clubs, members, event participants, NAACP state officials and Bergen County (Adult) Chapter members who have trained and mentored us and our generous donors, for enthusiastically supporting us in our first three semesters. We look forward to many more years of Social Justice at BCC and hope that you continue to support our chapter and aid our initiatives!

How to vote in NJ before Election Day (via The Wei)

We can vote early in NJ even though we don’t have what is technically called “early voting,” because we can vote by paper ballot. There are three ways to vote early the week before Election Day: Mail in the Application to Vote by Mail. Application…


Continue reading

GOTV strategy for General Election Tues Nov 5 2013

I have developed some tools to help motivate people to vote in this important election. The complete toolkit and instructions will be posted by tomorrow morning on my blog at The Wei. Meanwhile, here are Vote Pledge Cards you can download – they are a major component of the toolkit. And this is the GOTV plan in a nutshell (as of 10 days before the election):

  1. The goal for this week is to get people thinking and talking about voting in New Jersey. Talking about putting a governor and other elected officials in office who will help us bring back our cities … about how and where they’re going to cast their vote … and about how WE CAN VOTE OURSELVES A RAISE this election. Voters who are busy or have children to watch, might want to consider which voting option makes most sense for them.
  2. To find out where your vote polling location is, check your voter registration card, Look it up online or call your town/city clerk.
  3. Do you need a ride or can you give one?
  4. Here are the voting options New Jersey voters have:
    • Voters can mail applications to Vote by Mail until Monday Oct 28. Mailed applications need to be in their County Clerk’s office by Tuesday Oct 29.
    • Download a Vote by Mail application online for Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County or anywhere in NJ.
    • Through Monday Oct 28, voters can mail in Vote by Mail applications. If the application arrives at the County Clerk’s office by Tuesday Oct 29, a BALLOT will be mailed to their home.
    • Through Tuesday Oct 29, voters can drop Vote by Mail applications off to their County Clerk and get a BALLOT mailed to their home.
    • Until 3pm on Monday Nov 4 (day before Election Day) voters can obtain Vote by Mail BALLOTS at the County Clerk’s office;
    • And through Tuesday Nov 5 (Election Day) Vote by Mail BALLOTS obtained in person or through the mail can be handed in at the County Board of Elections office.
    • Remember, a Vote by Mail BALLOT vote is counted as a regular vote in exactly the same way a vote cast in a polling place voting machine is counted.
    • Voters can vote at the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov 5.
  5. Vote Pledge Cards
    • Start a conversation about voting with friends, family and anyone else you chat with by asking them to pledge to vote by filling in a VOTE PLEDGE CARD (pdf). The cards are conveniently arranged 4 on a sheet for easy printing and cutting.
    • NJ 2013 Vote Pledge Cards 4 on sheet for printing

      NJ 2013 Vote Pledge Cards 4 on sheet for printing

      Will remind people they can vote themselves a raise this election by voting YES on Question 2 to raise the minimum wage to $8.25/hr (about $2000 per year).

    • Vote Pledge Cards will help people think through when and where they’re going to cast their vote.
    • They will help you capture contact information and reach out to make sure people fill in their Vote by Mail BALLOT when it arrives and send them back right away, or think through when and how they will vote in person at the County Clerk’s office or at the polls.
    • Vote Pledge Cards will help connect people with a ride to vote if they need one.
    • They will identify drivers who can bring voters to the County Clerk’s Office to vote, and who can help with GOTV on Nov 5.
    • Vote Pledge Cards will help identify canvassers who are available work on door to door GOTV (Get Out The Vote) from Friday Nov 1 through Tuesday Nov 5.
  6. On Election Day, we will be doing door to door GOTV, reminding people to vote and offering rides to the polls to as many people as possible. Remember to ask pledges if they can help and to contact @ivanwei or @kimiwei when you identify someone who wants to volunteer!

New Jersey Voter FAQ
These instruction ©2013 Kimi Wei & TheWei.com

BCC NAACP 2013 Voter Education Forum Biographies

These are short biographies of the panelists and guest speaker who joined us for today’s BCC NAACP 2013 Voter Education Forum. Thanks to all who shared their support with the Bergen Community College NAACP chapter to make this event happen, and to those who by listening in, showed their interest in being an informed New Jersey voter.

Ivan’s opening remarks:

All New Jersey state level political offices are up for election this year, and will be decided by voters on November 5. Gov. Christie, the Republican candidate for governor, declined our invitation to join us today. But, we are fortunate that New Jersey State Senator Barbara Buono accepted. Sen. Buono is also running for governor as New Jersey’s Democratic candidate, and I am very excited that she took time out of her busy campaign schedule to share wisdom and thoughts with us about life, career choices and why it’s important for students to be engaged civically and politically.

New Jersey State Sen. Barbara Buono, Guest Speaker
Barbara Buono has been a New Jersey State Senator since 2001 and in 2010 became the first woman in our state’s history to be named as Senate Majority Leader. When Sen. Buono served as Senate Budget Chair she was able to shrink our state budget by $4.5 billion. Sen. Buono has also served as Metuchen Borough Councilwoman and New Jersey State Assemblywoman. She champions conservative fiscal spending, ethnic and gender diversity; strong public education and excellent public health systems.

JEFF GARDNER, Panelist
Jeff Gardner is an outspoken community advocate. He grew up in New Jersey, attended Rutgers College and Law School and for the past 15 years he has been a successful labor attorney with a private practice in Hawthorne. Jeff is a Co-Founder and Past President of the Hawthorne Historical Society, a Trustee of Passaic County Community College and Chair of the Garden State Equality Educational Fund. Jeff prides himself on being a fighter who is not afraid to take on tough career and community advocacy challenges. He is currently a candidate for Hawthorne Borough Council.

BETH MARMOLEJOS, Panelist
Beth Marmolejos is past President of the Medco Diversity Network and an expert at supporting community-based organizations. She believes in a proactive approach toward effecting change and has been active in the social and political life in both Bergen and Passaic Counties, with stints as Ward President an as a community advocate of individuals with disabilities. Beth served in 1998 as President of the Dominican Empowerment Political Association Committee (DEPAC). She is currently a Democratic candidate running for Wayne Council.

THOMAS REYNOLDS, Panelist
Thomas Reynolds is currently serving his second term as President of the Montclair Branch NAACP. Tom and his executive committee have doubled chapter membership; successfully applied for two economic development grants and one health grant; increased young voter engagement; rallied the community to bring back the community policing program; protected programs that directly affect minority students and more. Tom’s branch has been recognized by the State NAACP as the Most Outstanding Chapter and is working with six other branches throughout the country to raise engagement of young adults in the NAACP.

Tom’s Essay, Why I Vote, will give you insights about why you, too, should vote.

ALEXIS BRAVO, Panelist
Alex is a Communication Arts Major, a Bergen Community College sophomore and speaks fluent Spanish and some French. Although she is a New Jersey native, Alex’ mother is Puerto Rican and father, Ecuadorian. She is active in campus groups including the Business Club, Model UN, Student Activities Board, the Torch newspaper, and she serves as this year’s Student Government Association President. Alex interns for the NJ Republican State Committee, working on the campaigns of Chris Christie and the District 36 Republican candidate.

IVAN GOMEZ WEI, Moderator and BCC NAACP President
Ivan Gomez Wei is an aspiring Urban Farmer and social activist who organizes community around food, sustainability, equal rights and student issues. He holds an AS in Business Administration from Bergen Community College, and is obtaining a horticulture degree. He leads the BCC NAACP Chapter and is chair of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division in the northeast. Ivan is a Chinese-Hispanic Jew; attended Chinese school for many years and is active in Latino political and cultural activities.

BCC NAACP Voter Education Forum a great success

Today was a great and historic day at Bergen Community College! The NAACP, in conjunction with the Student Government Association, Caribbean club, African student union, Latino American student association, Women’s club and the Black student union, held the college’s first Voter Education Forum. A panel of speakers included the SGA president, Alexis Bravo; candidate for Hawthorne Council, Jeff Gardner; Montclair NAACP President, Tom Reynolds and Wayne Council candidate, Beth Marmolejos.

BCC NAACP president, Jorge Ivan Gomez Wei served as both MC and panel moderator. Following the panel discussion and a Q & A session, New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono, arrived to share thoughts and inspiration.

Among some of the questions students put to the panelists were: “Why should I vote? How will this election affect students? How can I hold politicians accountable?”

The forum’s main goal was educating students about the importance of voting not just in presidential elections but on the local level as well for municipal, county and state officials … and of introducing the concept that engaging in the democratic process doesn’t end with casting a vote. As several panelists pointed out, civic engagement is another very important aspect of participating in a democracy and a healthy society is reliant on citizen participation. The panelists shared interesting and thought provoking views and answers with students.

The forum was held in the BCC Student Center and was well attended. Most of those present came for the event. However, there were a few students sitting in the Center’s comfy seats when the panel discussion started, who became interested in the forum as it went on and ended up giving it their full attention. Capturing the interest of students who might not go out of their way to attend this type of event if it were held in a more private venue, was one of the day’s key goals and as an NAACP member who helped with planning, I was pleased with results of holding it in the Center’s semi-open space. Many of those passing through the center on their way to class from the bus stop outside, stopped for a while to listen as topics under discussion caught their interest. Some professors brought their classes down to the forum and members of several campus clubs cancelled weekly meetings in order to participate. The number of those in attendance increased enormously when Barbara Buono arrived to speak. One student commented, “Barbara Buono being right here, at the college. That’s huge!”

Barbara Buono’s gave an impassioned, energetic speech. She shared details of her own life, allowing us to see how down to earth she is, and we were able to see that she relates well to the concerns of community college students like ourselves. Many of us struggle with life and financial difficulties and because Buono lost her father at 19 years of age and later became a single mother, she experienced many of the same challenges we do. It is reassuring to know that a person able to affect issues important to us and able to protect our interests, is truly looking out for us as Barbara Buono does in her role as State Senator. Equally reassuring is knowing that Barbara Buono triumphed over her personal challenges to become an attorney and an elected official.

Plenty of work, goodwill and collaboration went into putting this event together and it paid off handsomely as the forum was a great success. Very special acknowledgement goes to Mr. Gomez Wei, who had the vision for creating the first of what we hope will become an annual voter education forum at BCC, and whose desire and ability to create positive change as a civil rights and social equality activist keeps growing and growing. Keep up the great work my friend.

Here are some pictures!

Buono with the BCC NAACP

Members of the BCC NAACP and gubernotorial candidate Barbara Buono


Buono with Bergen students

Buono takes a foto with Bergen students


Students turn out for BCC NAACP Voter Forum

Students turn out for BCC NAACP Voter Forum