Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn sure picked a good time to attend her first NAACP Pittsburgh Chapter event.
Dr. Duvall-Flynn, The NAACP state president, joined over 500 people who congregated at the Westin Convention Center Hotel May 4 for the local chapter’s 63rd annual Human Rights Dinner. It was an evening of celebration, recognition and appreciation for the NAACP’s tireless work in advocating for African Americans in Pittsburgh and across the U.S.
“One of the things we have worked so hard on that we have made a tremendous amount of progress on is bringing the idea of Trauma Informed Education to Pennsylvania,” Dr. Duvall-Flynn told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “The NAACP brought it here, we fought for it, we got some funding…to address the needs of kids who have been emotionally and psychologically traumatized, through poverty, racism and any of the 14 other causes of emotional psychological trauma that the children are struggling with.”
Dr. Duvall-Flynn said many school districts, teachers, administrators, and especially politicians, don’t understand how adverse conditions that some African American youth experience or are subjected to can negatively affect their school performance.
“That is why the NAACP two years ago at the national convention passed the resolution calling for trauma-informed education across this country,” Dr. Duvall-Flynn said. “It impedes their capacity to function well in school, and we know that. We have fought to carry out that resolution here in Pennsylvania.”
WTAE-TV reporter Bofta Yimam was the emcee for the dinner. During the event, scholarships were awarded to area high school and college students. Awardees included; Jaime Shelton, Korionna Devaughn, Kennedi Stevenson, Megan Johnson, Peggy Phillips, Scott Graves III, Taylor Stringer, David Mitchell, Jalon Alexander, Marcus Gaines-Cherry, Miracle Jones, Angelique Drakeford and Amber Mole.