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Catholic University Rejects NAACP Chapter

NAACP President Kweisi Mfume has denounced The Catholic University of America’s (CUA) decision to block student efforts to create a chapter of the NAACP on campus. At a rally on campus on Friday, Mfume called the CUA rejection “outright discrimination and intolerance all rolled into one,” and has threatened to sue if an agreement cannot be reached, according to Salon. University spokesperson Victor Nakas said that one factor in CUA’s decision was that student groups are not allowed to align themselves with positions contrary to Church teachings, which opposes abortion rights. The NAACP voted in February to take a pro-choice stance for the first time in its 95-year history and support the March for Women’s Lives, taking up the cause of women’s reproductive rights as a fundamental issue of civil rights. The NAACP noted in a Feb. 24 press release: “A woman denied the right to control her own body is denied equal protection of the law, a right the NAACP has fought for and defended for nearly 100 years.” The CUA officially refused to recognize the NAACP chapter on the grounds that two other black organizations already existed on campus and the creation of a new organization would “cause redundancy,” according to the The Boston Globe. CUA currently has 386 students who identify as black within its school population of 5,740. William Jawando, the student who sought to launch a NAACP chapter, noted that around 30 students expressed interest in joining a chapter, according to a Washington Post article. DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion

Sources:

Washington Post 6/3/04, 6/5/04; Salon 6/5/04; The Boston Globe 6/4/04; NAACP Press Release 2/24/04

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