Collin County NAACP Sees Recent Increase in Participation

Collin County NAACP President June Jenkins with Plano Police Chief Drain and LaTrice Williams at the 2020 Collin County Juneteenth celebration // photo Jennifer Shertzer
Collin County NAACP President June Jenkins with Plano Police Chief Drain and LaTrice Williams at the 2020 Collin County Juneteenth celebration // photo Jennifer Shertzer

Plano resident June Jenkins said the Craig Ranch North Community Pool party incident in 2015 involving a McKinney police officer violently detaining a 15-year-old Black female student was the catalyst for reactivating the Collin County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 2016.

“People were outraged, and we wanted to be sure what we did was top of mind,” June, chapter president, said.

It’s been five years since that event, and now the death of George Floyd has created an uptick in participation for the Collin County NAACP. It has also influenced what seems to be an even more concerted effort to have tough conversations about systemic racism and find solutions. As of late June, donations and membership have increased for the all-volunteer organization.

“I think that this was the turning point for multiple reasons,” June said. “Systemic racism has always existed, but this has given [the Collin County NAACP] the ability to have a stronger voice.”

Collin County NAACP President June Jenkins // photo Hunter Lacey
Collin County NAACP President June Jenkins // photo Hunter Lacey

She continued, “We talked to five cities in Collin County, and they don’t even have a minority business program set up, and what that does is allow for a good ol’ boy system.”

The organization’s mission is to improve political, educational, social and economic status of people of color, and to eliminate racial prejudice through educating the public on the adverse effects of racism. One of the things it would like to create is a score card to analyze how cities are performing when it comes to diversity in school districts, economic development and police departments.

June said the type of people they want involved are those who realize there are injustices in Collin County and are looking to be part of making changes. She pointed out a lack of racial representation in city councils and school districts.

“We are going to hold allies accountable beyond just saying what’s right for the moment. It goes to advocating and becoming an additional voice for us,” June said, mentioning a desire for a citizens review board. “When we present to city council, then you are there with us to say, ‘We are in agreement and feel this needs to be done.’ It’s writing letters, identifying people in community that can run for offices.”

“I think when you avoid that conversation [about race and racism], you shut down that opportunity to come to grips with something,” she said. “And in order to do that, the first step is to admit it and talk about it.”

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