“To change systemic racism there has to be systems in place. The first part of doing that in a community that’s small but also the size of ours, we need to have some formalities in place.”
That’s why Taurean Bond says that the time is right to start an NAACP chapter in Kewanee.
“Now more than ever we have community members who are ready and willing to step up,” Bond said. “Community members not only that have credentialing or the education but we even have local residents who are ready for a change and want to see that change today.”
Bond hopes that having the organization in town will help foster a better environment for understanding in Kewanee.
“I come from a bi-racial family here in town,” Bond said. “And the first time I was called a racial slur was in the first grade. Where does a first grader learn that type of verbiage?”
Mitrese Smith says that discussions on race shouldn’t only happen after an incident gets national attention, and having an NAACP chapter in Kewanee will help keep the conversation going.
“I just think that sometimes people try to push it under the rug,” Smith said. “It’s an awkward conversation, and they may not know what they want to say or talk about, but we do have to bring these awkward conversations up to let people know that we are taking a stand, and we will not stand for this any longer.”
The nearest NAACP chapter to Kewanee is in Galesburg.