NAACP Alaska Oregon Washington State Area

The Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference (AOWSAC) of the NAACP is dedicated to improving the political, educational, social and economic status of all persons, eliminating racial prejudice, and keeping the public aware of the adverse effects of discrimination at the state level.

We have 13 local unit Branches and multiple youth councils, high school councils and prison Branches throughout Alaska, Oregon and Washington committed to addressing issues of discrimination and inequality affecting members in our communities and at the state level.

With this site, our goal is to provide you with information on local Branch events, and links to current news stories featuring AOWSAC’s advocacy efforts.

With the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the need is greater than ever for the NAACP to continue our voting rights advocacy and registration program.

Photo credit: Seattle Weekly

Gerald Hankerson, President NAACP Alaska Oregon Washington State Area Conference

Featured Event and News Story:

Exciting Youth Opportunities! It't not too late to join ACT-SO.

We're calling on all stuents 9th - 12th grade! The ACT-SO Committee is available to meet with any group or school to discuss the program. Contact Carolyn Riley-Payne at 206-324-6600 or for more information regarding a program near you!

So What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO relies on community volunteers and business leaders to serve as mentors and coaches in promoting academic and artistic excellence among African-American and Hispanic students. By providing an arena where students strive to excel in the sciences, arts and humanities, ACT-SO equips its participants with the skills to live meaningful lives.

ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition. For more information on specific categories CLICK HERE.

ACT-SO recruits students annually and conducts annual Academic Olympic competitions for students in grades 9th - 12th in NAACP Branches throughout the country. First place local winners then compete with youth from other cities at the National ACT-SO finals held during our National Convention.

Photo courtesy of Tony Funchess of Portland 1120.

Police killings bring reform clearly into focus

By Jack Radey, is a longtime member of the Eugene Springfield NAACP, and wrote this essay with other NAACP members

We have come to a historical moment, when in the course of a few months the issue of racist police violence has fired the imaginations of people all over America and the world.

It represents not so much a reaction to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the overflowing of a cup that has been filled to the brim with the blood of Americans — mostly young, unarmed African-American males. It has become evident that police officers who have killed an unarmed person rarely suffer any consequences whatsoever.

These proposals are put forth with the understanding that police play an important role, and that most police are men and women of integrity, not criminals. We believe that reforms such as these are vital to effective policing, where communities see the police as their protectors, not as a threat, and where police see the communities as people they serve, not as threats.

1) Screening: Studies show that most cases of inappropriate police violence are committed by a small number of officers. Vigorous and rigorous efforts should be taken to screen out applicants for police work who have personalities that tend toward violence, impatience and physical aggression. In this regard, serious thought should be given to being especially careful in hiring military veterans recently returned from combat.

Similarly, psychological screening should be applied to current officers, and those found to have serious propensities for violence should be removed from duties involving interactions with the public.

2) Disarmament: Police sometimes face dangerous situations, and weapons are sometimes appropriate. But there is little justification for police appearing in the streets more heavily armed than our soldiers overseas.

An officer clad head to toe in black armor; helmeted, gas-masked and wearing combat gear; armed with a long baton, heavy pistol, Taser, shotgun and assault rifle; and hung with dazzle flash grenades, tear gas grenades and the like, is far more likely to look on civilians as threats, rather than as people to serve and protect. Armored vehicles, automatic weapons and guns designed to fire “usually-less-than-lethal” projectiles are not appropriate for dealing with peaceful protests or minor law infractions.

To continuing reading the essay CLICK HERE.

Upcoming Events in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington:

Alaska, Oregon and Washington!

Join President Gerald Hankerson and 2nd Vice President Sheley Secrest on March 14th for a national conversation to connect people’s experiences, address the impacts on people of color and women, and start framing debt as a problem requiring broad and targeted solutions. The anchored in event is in Seattle, but will be broadcast to 10 additional states allowing a nationalized discussion. Register today! And more information on our events page.


April 18th: Eugene-Springfield Branch's ACT-SO Performance Competition

Saturdays in Eugene: Education Research Center is open starting at 10am at the Lane Community College Downtown Campus - 2nd floor for parents and students who want more information on our Youth Council, ACT-SO and our Back to School Tutoring program (BTS). Visit our website for a current schedule: (


March 7th: Bremerton Branch: The 15th annual Mission Outreach Day event at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 1906 13th Street in Bremerton. This event will begin with a Workshop on Education at 2:00 PM, followed by the main program at 4:00. We are looking to make this a big event to properly commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama (March 7, 1965). Congress responded to the events of Bloody Sunday by enacting the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Starting February 21st: Seattle King County ACT-SO: Join us at the Martin Luther King Jr Community Center from 10am to 12:30pm. For more information on ACT-SO and all the dates visit our website.

President Hankerson testifying at Washington's House Judiciary Committee hearing on HB 1739 to eliminate the death penalty in favor of life sentences.

Congratulations to Seattle King Co. Branch 1136 for receiving the Seattle Japanese American Citizens League's Civil Rights Award.

Message from Paul Tashima, President, Seattle JACL

It is my pleasure on behalf of the Seattle Japanese American Citizens League to announce that we have selected the Seattle King County NAACP as this year's selection for our annual Civil Rights Award.

We recognize the NAACP's commitment toward a more just society for all communities and believe that this is only possible by shining a light on disparities, speaking out against injustice, and building relationships with other community groups. After the tragedies of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner and the inadequate response for the pursuit of justice in each of these cases, we believe that your voice and the voice of your community matter now more than ever. We applaud your work toward the cessation of choke hold training and the attention you brought to the lack of accountabity for the violence perpetrated against Miyekko Durden-Bosley.

The Seattle JACL would like to honor your organization with our Civil Rights Award at our annual banquet to take place on the night of March 21st, 2015.

This month's news highlights:

Porland police chief not convinced there's adequate resources, community partnerships to address gang violence, OregonLive

"Youth Speak Out" event invites suggests on improving the community, Alaska Public Media

Full length video of NAACP Anchorage's A Community Dialogue event, Anchorage School District

Anchorage community dialogue focuses on setting the bar higher for young men of color, KTVA 11

William Wingate's arrest for holding a Golf Club - Seattle NAACP says Strong Possibility of asking DOJ to come back into Seattle, Seattle PI

Seattle ACT-SO Chair Carolyn Riley-Payne on the Seattle Medium's Podcast

Video shows Seattle cop arresting elderly black man using golf club as cane, Washington Post

How "Grandfather in Our Community" lost faith in Seattle Police, KUOW

Video shows Seattle Police spraying teacher at MLK rally, USA Today via King 5 News VIDEO

Black Lives Matter in Seattle, Socialist Worker VIDEO

Black Lives Matter teach in shed light on racial injustice, Eastener Online

NAACP: The silence of Mayor Murray and Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole is deafening, The Stranger

Yakima Valley MLK celebrants urged to seek truth, Yakima Herald

NAACP’s Memorial Day picnic at Washington Park. (Amiran White/ For The Register Guard).

President Hankerson speaks to Seattle's King 5 News on the local perspective of what's happening in Ferguson.

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