Let Your Voice Be Heard

Akil Rose and J Anton Blake
At left, NAACP 3rd Vice President Akil Rose interviews Caretaker J Anton Blake.

Did you know that NYCHA’s dynamic branch of the NAACP has its own radio show? “Let Your Voice Be Heard,” broadcast on 93.1 FM, was started in 2012 as a forum for NYCHA employees and community members “to discuss some of the positive things going on in our communities and also to help find solutions to some of the problems,” said Lynn Spivey, program host and president of NYCHA’s NAACP chapter. A number of employees have appeared as guests to share their interests and expertise with the program’s listeners, who can call in their questions during the one-hour, weekly show.

Some former guests include Michael Jacocks, community coordinator in REES, who spoke about entrepreneurship; Andre Cirilo, deputy director in Brooklyn Community Operations, who discussed the health of public housing communities and NYCHA’s work environment; and Kenneth Cox, administrative staff analyst in the Customer Operations Department, who spoke about NYCHA’s Association for Christian Fellowship.

Reggie Bowman, former president of the Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP), was one of many guests who brought a resident’s perspective to the program.

NYCHA’s NAACP branch is unique among employee organizations in that its members include public housing residents and community members as well as employees. In partnership with the CCOP, the NAACP chapter focuses on its Five Game Changers: civic engagement, criminal justice, economic development, education, and health. The active chapter has a number of programs and events in each of these areas that provide opportunities for advancement in residents’ communities. “We have been involved in NextGeneration NYCHA-type activities long before the recent initiative,” Ms. Spivey noted. Let Your Voice Be Heard (cont.)

“Let Your Voice Be Heard” provides the NAACP chapter with an opportunity to promote many of these programs, such as a recent voter registration drive by NAACP members and volunteers at Saratoga Houses on February 27 and the upcoming Just READ Awards on April 26. The Recognize Education Achieves Destiny (READ) program encourages young people to “put down the guns and pick up a book,” Ms. Spivey said. The awards program will honor a black American author whose book focuses on black concerns.

The radio program is changing its schedule and will air weekly on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. For information about the organization’s many activities, reach the NYCHA NAACP chapter at (347) 669-2421 or nychabranch@gmail.com and listen to “Let Your Voice Be Heard.”

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