NEA, Celebrities, Promote Education To Blacks

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The National Education Association (NEA) in a groundbreaking campaign designed to strengthen relationships with the nation’s Caribbean and African communities has recruited the help of major celebrities and business executives.

They include: Actor Idris Elba, Golden Krust Bakery Founder/CEO Lowell Hawthorne, New York Assemblyman Nick Perry, soca queen Alison Hinds, VP Records, Atlanta Falcons’ Ovie Mughelli, Joseph Addai of the Indianapolis Colts, Marlon Hill of the Jamaican Diaspora Southern U.S., Atlanta City Councilman C.T. Martin, Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness of Lauderhill, FL, and Senegalese rap group Gokh-Bi System.

The NEA effort, entitled “I Love My Child,” is part of an overall grassroots outreach program targeting America’s ethnic minority groups, including Asian Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic, and Caribbean and African communities.

"In our desire to achieve great public schools for every child, we must make building strong relationships and strategic partnerships with the ethnic minority community a top priority," says NEA President Reg Weaver. “We recognize the Caribbean and African communities as a significant voice in the national dialogue on education.”

As part of the outreach, the NEA has partnered with respected individuals from the Caribbean and African communities who will act as campaign “ambassadors.”

"I think it is very important for us as parents to understand the public school system and know the people that are responsible for teaching our children,” says Elba. “A better relationship with the administration will give the student a better future."

"VP Records is truly proud to support the efforts of the NEA, and we are very excited to participate in the I Love My Child Campaign," says Randy Chin, CEO of VP Records. "As a company with firm Jamaican roots, we recognize the importance of working with our community and its leaders, teachers and parents to ensure that all of our children receive the best education possible."

The NEA will run a series of radio and television public service announcements as well as host several Town Hall Meetings in New York, Atlanta, and Miami. A website with the urls,,,  has been created to inform Caribbean and African parents about various public school issues, including English as a Second Language (ESL), parental involvement, and teacher quality.

“Public school education needs to be preserved because it still provides an essential foundation on which to build future leaders, provided that the resources are in place,” explains Hawthorne, a native of Jamaica who started his Golden Krust empire in 1989. “All my children are the product of the public education system and they are well rounded individuals of whom I am very proud.”


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