FRESNO, CA –“Social justice and equal rights” have always been the base mission of The Black American Political Association of California (BAPAC) represented through different chapters throughout California.
BAPAC Fresno held a mid-year planning conference last Saturday to address areas of concern in education, youth engagement, women engagement, veteran affairs, business enterprise and effective politics.
Community members frankly discussed their disappointments in the current educational system in regards to the lack of Black principals and Black educators, their awareness of disenfranchised Black veterans, to blanket issues in the Black community preventing advancement.
The all-day conference then addressed actionable solutions that the community can rally behind, as well as methods to reach political leaders to incite local and statewide change.
Although the topics discussed may seem quite a spread, BAPAC’s purpose was to have a wholesome approach to tackle issue of social and economic equity. On the contrary of its name, BAPAC was not meant to solely be a political organization; in fact, it does not contribute to candidates. They are a bipartisan 501c3 organization.
BAPAC was started in 1978 by 20 key political leaders, including Dr. Percy Pinkney, the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, former San Francisco Mayor and California Assemblyman Willie Brown and State Senator Mervyn Dymally. At that time, the state of California had very few Blacks in political offices. Hence the means of the organization then was to change the political landscape to include more color.
Today BAPAC has over 55 chapters and over 60,000 members statewide with the overall mission to “ensure full political, social, and economic participation for California’s African American population, by educating, engaging and empowering California communities of color in an effort to restore and promote social and economic equity.”
In alignment with the mission, BAPAC has sought to do the following:
“Identify, document, effectuate and develop the political resources necessary to achieve the education equity and excellence for our children, prosperity-economic development, social justice and equal protection under the Constitution, public safety-protect the rights of our citizens and support lawful rulings for every citizen in California, and promote cultural and heritage events to educate our people on our rich traditions and contributions to California history and its growth.”
BAPAC Fresno made its historical mark in the early 1990s when President Mel Sanders, Frank Revis, along with Frank Williams were able to incite a grassroots effort to get 13 Blacks elected to school boards. Their progressive ground campaign received statewide recognition, exemplifying the power and prowess of the BAPAC coalition.
Current BAPAC President Daren Miller along with Vice President Janee Young are taking progressive steps to revive BAPAC Fresno, with the hopes of taking the issues and formulating them into a viable plan for the community to become more aware and more involved in moving forward with tangible solutions.
Watch excerpts of the BAPAC Fresno Inaugural Regional Mid-Year Planning Conference on The ONME Network until May 30, 2017. It is listed on the ONME TV guide under “Special Events,” and airs twice daily from 4:00 PM - 6:00PM and 4:00 AM – 6:00 AM.
Download the FREE ONME app to watch on your mobile device: www.app.onmetv.com