East Valley Arizona NAACP Supports GPS Civil Rights Plaintiff

A letter to the Gilbert Public schools Governing Board, written by the East Valley Arizona NAACP in support of former GPS teacher Gladis Mopecha:

To:       Members of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board
From:  The East Valley Arizona National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Rev. Dr. Helen Hunter, President; Rev. Ozetta Kirby 1st Vice President

January 30, 2014

The East Valley Arizona NAACP Branch wholeheartedly supports Gladis Mopecha’s fight for her civil rights that are being disputed at this time by the Gilbert Public School System.  The Branch firmly believes there is compelling evidence that Gladis Mopecha was treated differently than other teachers in the district who speak with an accent.  The Branch stands firmly united with Ms. Mopecha and intend to support her case.

The East Valley Arizona NAACP was started in 1964; the Branch will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the state of Arizona this year. The mission of the NAACP is accomplished by seeking the enactment of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights, as well as by informing the public of adverse effects of racial discrimination. The NAACP’s pursuit of racial equality has been fought by members as well as the greater society.  The mission is accomplished by advocating for those who have been denied their constitutional rights and by taking all lawful actions to secure the exercise of those rights.

From school and workplace discrimination, voter registration, health and economic empowerment training, the NAACP has played a pivotal role in establishing legal precedents to improve the quality of life of those who are socially, politically, economically and environmentally disenfranchised. Throughout its history, some of America’s greatest minds have worked on these changes.

Some of us remember the era of the Devil Dogs in Gilbert, Arizona and the resultant instances of violence.  It is evident that when institutional discrimination and bullying are systemically combined, it creates irreparable damage to all who are the victims. For this reason, the EV NAACP stands behind Gladis Mopecha.  Branch representatives plan to attend all court sessions and mediations to which we are privy.

With the East Valley Arizona NAACP watching over the process from here on out, there will be a level of adult supervision that was lacking in GPS for a long, long time. The two signatories on the letter are amazing women, dedicated professionals with extensive backgrounds in education and additional professional fields.  We applaud Rev. Dr. Helen Hunter and Rev. Ozetta Kirby as they stand with Gladis in her search for justice and freedom from the injuries inflicted by illegal, institutionalized discrimination perpetrated by administrators in Gilbert Public Schools.

The vision of the NAACP – the oldest, largest and strongest civil rights organization in the United States – is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and to eradicate racial hatred or racial discrimination. For more than 100 years it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society. East Valley NAACP-AZ sponsors financial freedom seminars, youth development workshops, voter empowerment forums and other activities to foster equality, justice and empowerment.

The East Valley Arizona NAACP helped the Town of Gilbert during the days of the Devil Dogs, a white supremacist group that inflicted horrific beatings on innocent people.  That incident engulfed Highland High School. The East Valley Arizona NAACP joined with the Phoenix Anti-Defamation League when two LDS teenagers were beaten and attacked with pellet guns because of their religion. According to KNXV-TC, one of the arrested students was an athlete at Mesquite High School.

Reverend Ozetta Kirby focused a spotlight of national attention on the White Trash Day debacle at Queen Creek High School. The national outrage over the racist frat party at ASU this year was foreshadowed by a serious incident the year before involving members of that same fratrnity inflicting a broken jaw, a concussion and cuts on rival fraternity member, an African-American.

Remember these words from the East Valley Arizona NAACP leadership: “It is evident that when institutional discrimination and bullying are systemically combined, it creates irreparable damage to all who are the victims.”  It is imperative that the institutionalized discrimination and bullying in Gilbert Public Schools come to an end.

We thank the East Valley Arizona NAACP  for stepping in to convince Gilbert Public Schools to stop their destructive practices that have so deeply injured so many innocent people, Gladis included. Thank you, NAACP!


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