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Jul 21, 2016

NCBCP President Melanie Campbell Receives NOBLE's Walter Lawson Community Service Award

Melanie Campbell’s Acceptance Remarks NOBLE Annual Banquet and Installation of New Executive Board “NOBLE@40:Justice by Action Then, Now & Tomorrow”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Washington, D.C.

Thank you, thank you, thank you----- to Greg Thomas, Dwayne Crawford and the entire NOBLE family for this honor. I accept this award with deep appreciation, on behalf of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women’s Roundtable, Black Youth Vote and our Gathering of Black Men & Boys members and networks. We are dedicated to leveraging the power of our vote, advocating and winning civil rights, women’s rights and social justice battles to achieve justice, equity, economic opportunity and prosperity for our communities and for “the least of these God’s children”

I also accept this award in the memory of my mom----Mrs. Janet Seigler Campbell----who recently passed away 7 days after her 87th birthday.

My mom and dad taught me that leadership and service is a privilege---to never take it for granted----and it is all of our responsibility to be our sisters and our brothers’ keeper. It is humbling to receive the Walter Lawson Community Service Award---that was named after one of your NOBLE members-----who dedicated his life serving his community with the Seattle Washington Police Department, U. S. Justice Department and Alaska Department of Public Safety.

I thank each of you for your service----leading, training and mentoring the brave men and women who are sworn to protect and serve and give us a sense of security in our neighborhoods all across this country.

I also thank you NOBLE for being the voice and conscience in the law enforcement community nationally and in your local jurisdictions calling for policing and criminal justice reform. Yesterday, I served on your criminal justice reform panel where we spent time dialoging, sharing and strategizing on what we must do to rebuild trust between law enforcement and community.

In fact, we all were in agreement that we must change the notion that law enforcement and community are separate—when the truth is we are one community and indeed one nation----that must come together to heal the racial divide, rebuild trust and learn to respect each other as human beings---in order to survive as a civil society.

NOBLE you are vital and key to bringing law enforcement and community together as one community. Yesterday my friend, Tony Waller and I shared our faith and belief that God is trying to tell us something and that we ALL have to listen, apologize, forgive; and we ALL must hold accountable anyone that will take a life unjustly.

Our people are demanding change and are not willing to wait any longer for racial justice to manifest in the United States of America---from long-standing civil rights and social justice organizations to new generation organizations and movements. Lastly, we are in the midst of one of the most intense and toxic Presidential Elections in recent history. Make no mistake---if we want justice to prevail—we must elect a president, Congress, state and local officials that committed to unifying the nation and are committed to justice for all people.

Finally, I found out our two organizations have something in common---The National Coalition is celebrating our 40th anniversary of our founding this year and I want to close my remarks by thanking NOBLE for 40 years of service and I pray you have 40 more successful years and even more!

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