Karl Brinson, president of the West Side Branch NAACP, speaks during a forum on the Black State of Affairs at Malcolm X College. | Shanel Romain

The West Side Branch NAACP held a forum on the Black State of Affairs on Dec. 1 at Malcolm X College to discuss what City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is doing for Black Chicago students. I spoke with West Side Branch NAACP President Karl Brinson to get his take on his role in helping CCC.

On getting involved with the NAACP

I did politics for so long that I didn’t see any real benefit to it. I didn’t see people responding to the needs the way they needed to. Only a few people really benefited from it, but it wasn’t for the masses.  The elected officials and Blacks in general weren’t responding to what they were getting.

After hanging around the NAACP I thought, well, maybe this will make a difference. I got engaged and then they talked me into being a part of the fundraising, next they asked me to be vice president. So, it just moved on and as time progressed they felt the need for me to be engaged more and the rest is history. I’ve been involved ever since.

On his mission as president of the West Side Branch NAACP

My mission is the same as the NAACP’s mission, which is to elevate and eradicate racism, inequality, and injustice. One of the things that I say is that the NAACP has been here since 1909; therefore this should have been our business since its inception in 1909. We shouldn’t still be fighting for [justice] at this point in life, but we are.

On his meeting with City Colleges

I meet people all day every day, I’m not impressed with meetings, I’m impressed with outcomes. People will meet with you but my thoughts are, well, what was the outcome, did anything come to fruition, and were our concerns and questions addressed? That’s how I measure things. I appreciate meetings but are there going to be some changes from what we discussed in our meeting.

Things are always slow when involving our people and our plight.

What would you like to see from come out of this meeting?

I would like to see more Blacks attending City Colleges, more Black professors, more Blacks graduating, more Blacks recruited and retained, and more resources coming to our community from City Colleges of Chicago.

I’d like to see more people in leadership positions within City Colleges who make sure they have our best interest at heart while sitting at those tables across from people who look like me. I would like to see more of our Black males engaged in the opportunities they offer and being able to see the people who made it and who are successful as an array of hope. That’s what I’d like to see at City Colleges.

CONTACT: shanel@growingcommunitymedia.org