Last Friday Administrator Craig Fugate sat alongside Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization to sign a memorandum of agreement between FEMA and the NAACP. This agreement builds on a long-standing partnership between FEMA and the NAACP, and leverages both institutions’ resources and networks to improve the whole community throughout the disaster cycle. For years the NAACP has been on the front lines in communities meeting the need of disaster survivors and we are thrilled to formalize this partnership. We are humbled to be one of many employees working to help strengthen and sustain strategic partnerships like the one with the NAACP in an effort to fulfill the agency’s mission to support our citizens and first responders.
As a nation, our resiliency depends on our ability to work together to empower individuals and communities to be a part of the emergency management team before, during and after a disaster. We are committed to ensuring we keep a direct line of communication open to organizations and community leaders that focus on improving the lives of vulnerable communities every day. As Administrator Fugate shared in his Champion of Change blog post, the real first responder is usually a neighbor or friend. We recognize and respect the value of forming strategic partnerships with voluntary and community-based organizations, like this one with the NAACP, because when it comes to the government response, we can’t fix what we don’t know.
It’s important that those of us in the emergency management field continue to partner with organizations with direct ties to communities to make our nation stronger, better and more resilient. This includes strengthening our efforts to proactively engage with our community partners. We’re grateful to our friends at NAACP, old and new, and look forward to working with them.