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NAACP fighting back with pro-lawsuit rally of its own

Pushing back against criticism of its involvement in a lawsuit that could negatively affect charter schools, the NAACP has announced plans to stage a rally of its own tomorrow.

The historic civil rights group and its supporters plan to rally tomorrow morning outside the offices of the Success Charter Network. The charter school chain’s CEO, Eva Moskowitz, was a leader in galvanizing parents to protest the NAACP’s involvement in the lawsuit.

The NAACP’s rally, which will feature elected officials named as plaintiffs in the suit, is the latest episode in a dust-up that makes race a central issue in the ongoing battle over charter school co-locations.

Since the NAACP signed on last month to a union-initiated lawsuit to stop 22 school closures and prevent 17 charter schools from opening, moving, or expanding, charter school parents and advocates have been battering the group. Black parents whose children attend charter schools are questioning why the NAACP, which has long fought for education equity for black students, would stand in the way of their interests. They held a 2,500-person strong rally against the NAACP in Harlem last week and yesterday appeared at the Midtown office of the group’s New York leader, Hazel Dukes.

Last week, Dukes told me she joined the lawsuit for the same reason that the NAACP brought the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, which ended “separate but equal” schooling based on race. “Co-location is not the answer,” Dukes said. “We are setting up separate and unequal education.”

“Because of the NAACP’s stand for all children, they are being criticized by those who seek to only divide our community, pitting parent against parent, and distorting the facts about the lawsuit against the NYC DOE,” states a press release about the event tomorrow.

FRIDAY: NAACP, Parents, Elected Officials and Community Leaders to Rally against NYC Public School Closings and Charter School Co-Location Expansions Now, because of the NAACP’s stand for all children, they are being criticized by those who seek to only divide our community, pitting parent against parent, and distorting the facts about the lawsuit against the NYC DOE. CONTACT: Hazel Dukes, 212-344-7474 x103 NEW YORK, NY – On Friday, Hazel N. Dukes, President of NAACP New York State Conference, parents, community leaders and advocates from across New York City will rally in support of the NAACP’s lawsuit concerning the co-location of schools expansions and proposed school closings. For the past 100 years The NAACP has fought for social and economic justice including housing, health care and education. The NAACP has never wavered in its fight for equality and equity for all children. We must not allow a practice of separate and unequal to exist in our public school system. Our public schools must be available for ALL children. That is why we have joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NYC BOE concerning the co-location of schools and proposed school closings – we cannot have a system where children who share the same building are treated differently. The press conference will take place at 9:00am on Friday, June 3rd, at 310 Lenox Avenue, New York City. WHAT: Press Conference on the how co-location expansion and public school closings will affect NYC parents and students WHEN: This Friday, June3rd, 2011 at 9:00 am WHERE: In front of Harlem Success Academy Offices 310 Lenox Avenue (Between 125th Street & 126th Street) WHO: Hazel N. Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference NYS Senator Bill Perkins, Co-Plaintiff in lawsuit NYC Councilman Robert Jackson, Chair of NYC Council Education Committee Parents, Community Leaders and Elected Officials