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LOCAL HEROES HONORED AT NAACP'S MLK SERVICE
January 17th 2023
Five local heroes were honored during the borough’s second consecutive service honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Held at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Monday’s service, sponsored by the Pottstown chapter of the NAACP, was titled “Achieving Our Dreams Through Unity and Hope.”
POTTSTOWN NAACP'S MLK SERVICE ON JAN. 16
January 7th 2023
POTTSTOWN — Those wishing to demonstrate support for the life and work of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will have two opportunities to do so in the borough.
NAACP PRESIDENT SPEAKS OUT FOR SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS
December 14, 2023
POTTSTOWN — After forcing the warming center for homeless people in the basement of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ to close due to an alleged zoning violation, the borough council allowed it to reopen Monday because of very low temperatures.
NAACP CO-HOSTS SESSION ON GUN VIOLENCE FOR TEENS
November 4th, 2022
POTTSTOWN — A discussion group for teens on the subject of gun violence will be held Saturday, from 12 to 2 p.m., at the Ricketts Community Center on Beech Street.
Sponsored by the YMCA and the Pottstown chapter of the NAACP, the event is geared for ages 11 to 18.
VOLUNTEERS BUILD WHEELCHAIR RAMP FOR GIRL WITH CEREBRAL PALSEY
October 28, 2022
POTTSTOWN — Lamoni Green is usually smiling.
But Green, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, had a problem when it came to getting into and out of her house to her driveway. Without a ramp, someone had to carry her and wrestle her chair down the hill.
CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR CASE AT NAACP FORUM
October 28, 2022
POTTSTOWN — Five candidates for federal and state office made their case to voters Thursday during a candidates’ forum at the Ricketts Community Center and sponsored by the NAACP.
NAACP TO HOST CANDIDATE'S NIGHT
October 24, 2022
POTTSTOWN — In the days leading up to the elections, the Pottstown Chapter of the NAACP is hosting a meet the candidates night at the Ricketts Community Center on Beech Street.
Confirmed so far to be present at the Thursday, Oct. 27 event will be Republican state Senate candidate Tracy Pennycuick as well as her opponent Democrat Jill Dennin. Both are seeking the 24th District state Senate seat now occupied by Republican Bob Mensch, who is retiring.
POTTSTOWN GRAPPLING WITH WAYS TO STEM GUN VIOLENCE
POTTSTOWN — In the wake of four shootings in the past month, one of them deadly, efforts are underway to stem gun violence in the borough.
The first effort to get underway occurred Wednesday night at the YMCA on North Adams Street, where Y officials who run programs to stem the surging gun violence in Philadelphia came to Pottstown to see if they could help.
"NAACP STANDS WITH CHURCHES, PRAISES THEIR WORK"
July 12th, 2022
POTTSTOWN — Both High Street churches being cited by the borough with zoning violations for helping, clothing, counseling, and feeding the needy are fighting back.
NAACP OF POTTSTOWN SPONSORS JUNETEENTH EVENT AT RICKETTS CENTER
June 20th, 2022
POTTSTOWN — The emancipation of the last enslaved people in the United States 157 years ago was celebrated Sunday at the Ricketts Center with dance, speeches, songs and food.
The Juneteenth Celebration was organized by the Pottstown Chapter of the NAACP and attracted a capacity crowd.
POTTSTOWN NAACP CELEBRATES JUNETEENTH AT RICKETTS CENTER
June 13 2022
POTTSTOWN — The Pottstown NAACP will celebrate Juneteenth this Sunday, June 19, with a flourish of Afro-centric dancing, a singing of psalms and the exhortation of speakers for everyone to come together to make Pottstown a better place.
“It also will be a celebration of how far we have already come,” according to an announcement from the organization.
NAACP AMONG THOSE THANKED FOR EFFORTS AFTER HOUSE EXPLOSION
June 12 2022
The Mercury’s Sound Off for Sunday, June 12
PECO INVESTIGATES BLAST SITE; NAACP PRAISED FOR INTERVENTION
June 10 2022
POTTSTOWN — In the wake of the deadly Hale Street home explosion on May 26 — and a gas leak less than a block away 11 days later — PECO has informed the borough it intends to conduct a survey of its infrastructure in the area
NAACP MEMBER PASTORS SPEAK AT PRAYER VIGIL FOR BLAST VICTIMS
May 30 2022
POTTSTOWN — “You watch a Hollywood movie and you say ‘wow, look at those effects, those explosions’,” said the Rev. Justin Valentine.
“You watch the news about some disaster in some faraway place about people you’ve never met before,” said Valentine, who is the pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Pottstown and son of former mayor Sharon Thomas.
BLAST UPDATE: FOUR OF FIVE DEAD WERE CHILDREN; NAACP PROVIDES MEALS
May 27, 2022
POTTSTOWN — The death toll in Thursday night’s home explosion has now risen to five, and four of them are children.
During a noon press conference Friday, Borough Manager Justin Keller confirmed a total of five people have died from the explosion in the 400 block of Hale Street. Two more are receiving treatment at regional trauma centers.
EXPLOSION ON HALE STREET; NAACP HELPS VICTIMS
May 27, 2022
POTTSTOWN — An explosion in the 400 block of Hale Street between Butler Avenue and West Street left at least four dead and two people in the hospital Thursday evening.
NAACP: UNITY DAY AT DANIEL BOONE A STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION
April 4, 2022
Three of us from the Pottstown NAACP chapter recently were invited to participate in Unity Day exercises at Daniel Boone High School. We joined about 100 students split into groups to discuss issues and engage in games that illustrated the value of cooperation, empathy, kindness, teamwork, and integrity. There were many lessons to be learned, but the overriding one is that it’s hard to detest someone once you understand their problems, hear them, and see they are a whole lot like you.
NAACP CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN UKRAINE
March 19, 2022
The Pottstown NAACP Chapter is saddened by the senseless Russian invasion of Ukraine, and we condemn the Russian Government for its brutality and ruthlessness against the Ukrainian people. Our hearts go out to them in this hour of desperation.
VIDEO: PORCHCAST POTTSTOWN INTERVIEWS JOHNNY CORSON ABOUT NAACP
February 28th, 2022
In this episode, Matt Green and Amy Wolf of Porchcast Pottstown sat down with Jonny Corson from the Pottstown Branch of the NAACP.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY BRANCHES REFLECT NAACP CHANGES THROUGH THE YEARS
POTTSTOWN, AMBLER, NORRISTOWN CHAPTERS ARE INVOLVED IN COMMUNITIES
February 28th, 2022
As the NAACP marked its 113th anniversary in February, local chapter leaders noted the organization’s impact in Montgomery County.
“When you can help somebody when you stand up for people, and you be the voice of the voiceless, it just gives you a good feeling knowing that people look to you, and they see you as somebody who’s not afraid to stand up for them,” said Johnny Corson, president of the Pottstown NAACP branch.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NAACP APPLAUDS SPRING-FORD SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR ADDING HOLIDAYS
January 26, 2022
Last summer, officials in the Spring-Ford Area School District met with representatives of the Pottstown NAACP to talk about diversity and inclusion. We came away impressed, convinced that district officials intended to move forward in a positive way.
And now, they have. We commend the Spring-Ford School Board for its decision to add Muslim and Hindu religious holidays to the school calendar. Students will now have a day off for Eid, which marks t ...
POTTSTOWN NAACP URGES VACCINATION OF CHILDREN
December 26, 2021
The Pottstown branch of the NAACP is urging parents to have their kids vaccinated as COVID-19 cases are surging.
“Please do it, to protect the children and protect the community,” said Johnny Corson, local NAACP president.
Corson issued the call after learning from the folks at Pottstown Pharmacy that the numbers of African American children coming in for the free vaccine in no way reflects the racial make-up of the
LETTER TO EDITOR: VOTING RIGHTS CONCERNS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
December 20, 2021
In following our mission to advocate for voting rights, the Pottstown NAACP is calling on Montgomery County officials to protect the voting rights of people incarcerated in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
According to All Voting Is Local, a voting-rights initiative of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in partnership with the good-government groups Common Cause Pennsylvania and Committee of Seventy, Montgomery County’ ...
ANTI-BIAS TRAINING HELPS POTTSTOWN POLICE BE BETTER, SAYS CHIEF
December 14, 2021
For Police Chief Michael Markovich, it all comes down to being a better police officer and a better police department.
And now, every police department in Montgomery County will have the opportunity to take the training Pottstown has just completed and put that axiom to the test.
Knowing your community, especially when your community is constantly changing, is arguably the best way to be an effective police department, Markovich said he believes.
And knowing your community is best accomplished by meeting them where they live, understanding how they live and how they view the world, and that means having an open mind.
NAACP SPONSORS BLOOD DRIVE AT RICKETTS CENTER
October 7, 2021
Tina Abel had been donating blood for years because she considered it important. It was a way to help others.
Then, after a test showed that she carried the genetic trait for sickle cell anemia, the 58-year-old Royersford woman learned her donations were far more vital than she had realized.
Her blood, and the blood from other Black donors, is one of the weapons in the fight against sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell affects mainly Black people. It can cause debilitating pain, joint and tissue damage, plus strokes. There is no cure, but among the treatments: blood transfusions. Many patients need them regularly, throughout their lives.
BOYERTOWN RALLIES TO RESTORE DEFACED ‘NO PLACE FOR HATE’ MURAL
October 7, 2021
Within 24 hours of the news that a “No Place for Hate” mural in downtown Boyertown had been defaced, community members rallied to reaffirm their rejection of hate and plans were underway to restore the iconic image.
‘NO PLACE FOR HATE’ MURAL IN BOYERTOWN VANDALIZED
October 6, 2021
Police are asking for help in catching the person or persons who vandalized a ‘No Place for Hate’ mural on the side of Rita’s Water Ice on East Philadelphia Avenue and stenciled on the name of a white nationalist hate group.
Eastern Berks Regional Police Chief Barry Leatherman confirmed that a security camera on the building was blocked with what looks like the same black paint that was used to deface the mural.
DANIEL BOONE SCHOOL OFFICIALS PUSH TO EMBRACE EQUITY FOR ALL
September 27, 2021
Rob Flowers has a wooden sign on his desk that reads “Kindness Matters.”
Flowers, who has been and remains head football coach for Daniel Boone High School, is also the district’s director of community relations and equity awareness, a new position created last year.
Like many other school districts in the region — and across the country — Daniel Boone is trying to find ways to make its school experience more inclusive for its non-white students.
RACISM IN DANIEL BOONE SCHOOL DISTRICT
September 26, 2021
A federal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education about alleged racism experienced by a student in Daniel Boone schools may be on track to be resolved, but it is just the tip of the iceberg, according to students and parents who have experienced similar incidents.
The district is in the midst of fulfilling the conditions of a “Voluntary Resolution Agreement” with the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights over the complaint, which relates to a single student’s experiences at Daniel Boone High School.
But it is hardly the only incident according to those whose lives have been marred by alleged racism in the rural Berks County school district.
NAACP FORUM OFFERS HELP WITH RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
August 20, 2021
Many people may not realize they are eligible for government rental assistance programs and as the eviction moratorium has been extended into October, they should make use of them.
That was just one of the many messages offered up during Thursday’s online housing forum sponsored by the Pottstown NAACP.
Hosted by chapter secretary Emanuel Wilkerson, panelists included:
U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-4th Dist.,
Vincente Prieto from YWCA Tri-County Area,
Noah Marlier of the Montco Prothonotary’s Office,
Michelle Dempsky, Staff Attorney for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA.
NAACP SAYS NEW HANOVER ACTION MOCKS ANTI-RACISM EFFORTS
July 4, 2021
NEW HANOVER — Having weathered accusations of racism in its police department and experienced little in the way of permanent consequences as a result, two township officials have taken it upon themselves to share the lessons they learned with other townships.
Township Manager Jamie Gwynn and Solicitor Andrew J. Bellwoar presented an hour-long online lecture, for which other officials could get credits for watching, to the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors titled: "Claims of Racism at your Doorstep, What is a Township to Do?"
POTTSTOWN NAACP INVITES ALL TO ALLEY MEMBERSHIP DRIVE JUNE 3
May 27, 2021
POTTSTOWN — The Pottstown Branch 2288 of the NAACP is inviting the Pottstown area community to an outdoor gathering at The Alley on High Street, 228 E. High St., at 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, June 3 (weather permitting).
Branch members will welcome residents and share information about the local NAACP’s various endeavors.
Paula Corson, chairperson of the membership committee, noted the branch is working to enroll more members. The Alley event is not a fundraiser, but rather an opportunity for people to enjoy neighborly fellowship, learn more, and consider becoming personally involved in the NAACP’s good works in greater Pottstown.
STORY BEHIND POTTSTOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL'S FIRST MUSICAL IS A REAL 'BEAUTY'
May 6, 2021
POTTSTOWN — Diana Stitt and her daughter, Olivia, a Pottstown Middle School student, share a love of musicals and Broadway.
So when Stitt, who has worked as a substitute teacher in the district, realized the middle school didn’t have the money to put on a spring musical — a staple of every other middle school in the region that she knew — it bothered her.
“I decided to change that,” she said.
FREE COVID-19 VACCINE CLINIC SET FOR SUNDAY AT CAROUSEL AT POTTSTOWN
April 30, 2021
POTTSTOWN — A free walk-up coronavirus vaccine clinic will be held again in Pottstown on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Carousel at Pottstown.
The Carousel at Pottstown is located at 30 King St.
VIGIL IN ROYERSFORD SATURDAY TO SUPPORT ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS
April 15, 2021
ROYERSFORD — Organizations and activists from throughout the region will rally Saturday in support of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been victims of discrimination.
Called “Breaking the Silence,” the vigil will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at Victory Park, Second Avenue and Arch Street, Royersford. It will feature victims talking about how their experiences affected them. The public is invited.
The event, like several others recently in the region, had been in the planning stages in response to increasing reports of discriminatory or violent incidents targeting Asian Americans during the pandemic. But it gained momentum after the murders of Asian Americans in Atlanta.
500 VACCINATED AT POTTSTOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL CLINIC
March 28, 2021
POTTSTOWN — Lifesaving vaccines — 501 doses of them — arrived in Pottstown Friday evening thanks to a joint effort by the NAACP of Pottstown and The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy of Boyertown.
"I've been calling everywhere, CVS, Rite-Aid and I couldn't get a shot," said Mary Bradshaw of Pottstown.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR VACCINE CLINIC COMING TO POTTSTOWN ON FRIDAY
March 23, 2021
POTTSTOWN — Between 500 and 800 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be made available Friday at Pottstown Middle School thanks to a joint effort by the Pottstown NAACP and The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in Boyertown.
The clinic will begin at 5 p.m.
Health officials have been concerned that African Americans, who are disproportionately affected by the virus, have not been getting vaccinated at the same rate as caucasians.
1-ON-1 WITH POTTSTOWN NAACP CEO
June 9, 2019
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NAACP AIDS POTTSTOWN’S HOMELESS
March 2, 2021
Members of the Pottstown NAACP recently visited Al’s Heart Warming Center as part of a mission to help the homeless. Tom Niarhos, executive director of operations, provided a tour of the sleeping rooms, snack center and other facilities for people experiencing homelessness. The center, in the former St. Aloysious School on North Hanover Street, is run by Pottstown LIFT (Living in Faith Together) — and opened in mid-December. The group was joined by Tommy Daniels and Lorraine McCalvin of the African-American Resource Group of Dana Inc.’s Pottstown plant. The NAACP presented the center a $500 check, given in the branch’s honor by two anonymous members. In addition, two anonymous NAACP members donated their recent $600 stimulus checks in honor of the Pottstown NAACP to Mission First and Ministries at Main Street. Those nonprofits work to provide housing, food, clothing and other supplies to people experiencing homelessness. In December, branch members held a drive to donate winter coats, hats and other essentials to Mission First. Among other activities, NAACP members Annette Kobb, Olivia Coleman and Shirley Martin volunteer at Laundry Love & Shower Time, which offers 15-minute time slots for showers, plus laundry services, to people who are homeless or otherwise in need. It is held at the Ricketts Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
POTTSTOWN NAACP'S KING SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS HOPE
Jan 20, 2021
POTTSTOWN — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken many things, including, this year, the annual in-person celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
For years, this has brought people together to celebrate the message that all must work together, and recognize that the nation must live up to the creed that we are all equal under the eyes of the law.
With the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation and the world last summer, spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, this year's event took on an even deeper meaning.
NAACP YOUTH ART COMPETITION FOCUSES ON MEANING OF DR. KING’S 'I HAVE A DREAM' SPEECH
Jan 1, 2021
POTTSTOWN — When Pastor Garrison Lockley thinks of the relationship of today’s young people to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he’s concerned. He worries that with the passage of time, they won’t have a full appreciation for the civil rights icon.
“When they think of Dr. King, they hear 'I have a dream,' and it’s just four words,” he said recently. “This is a man who dedicated his life to non-violence, to racial equality in a time where there was none.”
Lockley, pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, is also chairman of the religious affairs committee of the Pottstown NAACP. To help prompt discussion among young people about what Dr. King stood for and what he achieved, that committee and the education committee are sponsoring what is intended to be the inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day youth arts competition.
PA. ATTORNEY GENERAL REACHES AGREEMENT WITH NEW HANOVER OVER POLICE RACISM ALLEGATIONS
Dec 29, 2020
NEW HANOVER — A year-long inquiry by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office into allegations of racism in the township police department has come to an end with an agreement between the office and the township.
The township "has committed to improving its standards for hiring police leadership and police behavior," according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Pottstown chapter of the NAACP, which was active in the effort.
Additionally, "the police department will receive additional training, including anti-bias and anti-harassment training. The township also has agreed to revise its Rules of Conduct for police. One specific change calls for the police chief 'to personally model the non-biased, culturally inclusive conduct expected of all members…,'" the release said.
POTTSTOWN NAACP DONATES FUNDS FOR COVID CHROMEBOOKS
Oct 20, 2020
The Pottstown NAACP recently presented a $1,000 check to the Foundation for Pottstown Education in support of the Foundation’s recent Chromebook Campaign.
At a recent chapter meeting, Pottstown NAACP’s President, Johnny Corson, recognized the Foundation for its quick action to raise funds supporting the purchase of Chromebooks for the students of the Pottstown School District.
On hand at the meeting was Foundation President, Tracey Brown, Vice-President Georgette Howell and
In his presentation, Corson said, “we were all amazed by the foundation's swift response to the school district's need for hundreds of Chromebooks and additional resources to keep everyone safe. Thousands of families across the region faced insecurities and digital barriers making education a burden. This is no longer true in Pottstown due to your action and generous support of your donors.”
The $1,000 check was made in memory of Elder Jannie Brandt and Alexis Artis, who both valued education.
The funds were made possible by Mr. and Mrs. John Milligan in memory of Corson’s mother, Elder Brandt, Vince Artis in memory of his daughter, Ms. Artis, along with the membership of the Pottstown NAACP.
Milligan is President of the Norristown NAACP and Artis is a member of the Pottstown NAACP and the Montgomery Elks on Walnut Street in Pottstown.