NEWS – Sept/Oct 2017
NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Indiana for Unlawful Voter Purges
The Indiana State Conference of the NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Indiana have filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Election Division to prevent the unlawful removal of voters from the registration rolls. The lawsuit challenges SB 442, a law that was passed in April 2017 and eliminates the requirement for Indiana state officials to comply with safeguards when removing certain voters from registration rolls.
Under this law, officials can immediately remove voters who purportedly registered in another state without notifying or verifying the move with the voter. Indiana officials screen such voters with the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, a system which has been shown to be unreliable as the sole method for identifying and removing voters who may have moved from one state to another.
“The disingenuous act of using the idea of voter fraud as a means to disenfranchise communities violates the core ideals of our democracy,” said Derrick Johnson, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. “The NAACP will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to suppress the vote of communities of color.”
“No Hoosier should be silenced on Election Day,” said Barbara Bolling-Williams, President of the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. “Yet, under this new law, that will happen. It’s vital that Indiana follow federal law and ensure that voters are not wrongfully removed from the rolls.”
This case marks the second lawsuit this year which the NAACP has filed in Indiana – the home state of Vice President, Mike Pence, whom Trump nominated to lead the Commission.
Spelman College to Admit Transgender Students in 2018-19
Spelman College announced that the prestigious institution would adjust its admission process to include transgender women. The move comes a little more than a year after Dr. Mary Schmidt, President of Spelman College, established a task force to study and provide recommendations on whether the all-women’s college would admit transgender students.
“This is another example of how HBCUs continue to be at the forefront of social change in our community,” said Leslie Hall, Senior Manager of HRC’s HBCU Program. “It is important that our colleges and universities continue to raise their voices in support of LGBTQ students especially with the recent attacks on the LGBTQ, and particularly transgender, community.”
Planned Parenthood and Black AIDS Institute Announce Program to Expand Comprehensive HIV Prevention Services at Health Centers Across the Country
Planned Parenthood announced a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand its comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Gilead Sciences, Inc, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, awarded the $900,000 grant to support and expand efforts of HIV prevention and education, including the integration of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, at Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers across the country over the next 18 months. It is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood, and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hardest hit by the epidemic.
The grant work will be carried out in partnership with The Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people.