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NAACP to hold Saturday forum

The Nansemond-Suffolk branch of the NAACP will hold an event this Saturday for people to learn about their civic duty, how to engage in discourse and learn more about their government.

“What we’re trying to do is to remind everyone that they have a civic duty and what kinds of information and questions need to be answered in order for you to be truly civically engaged and a part of the civic discourse,” said D.K. Seneca Bock of the chapter.

“We want to remind everybody that they have to be engaged in order for things to manifest in a representative democracy.”

Saturday’s event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at King’s Fork Middle School, 350 Kings Fork Road.

The morning session will feature a community forum on criminal justice reform, including speakers such as a survivor of human trafficking, along with Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson.

“We want to have a conversation about what does criminal justice reform look like,” Bock said.

The morning session will also include a presentation of the Civic Leaders of the Year award. Black Women for Positive Change National Co-Chairs Dr. Stephanie Myers and Delegate Daun S. Hester will be recognized, Bock said.

Also included in the event will be a number of workshops, including on get-out-the-vote efforts and an educational session on the General Assembly.

“Oftentimes, we think people know what the General Assembly is about, but most people don’t,” Bock said.

A candidate forum and veterans’ resources will also be featured.

“We thought that was important, because we live in a military town,” Bock said.

She hopes the event will help get more information to people, especially those in rural communities of color, who sometimes are left out of the process.

“We know a lot of the information that’s out there is not getting out to the rural communities, especially in communities of color,” Bock said. “They’re not getting access to that information in a timely manner.”

Other workshop topics include public safety, civic leagues, minority entrepreneurship, the media’s role in democracy and more.

Fellowship, fun, food and giveaways all will wrap up the day.

For more information, email nsnaacp1@gmail.com.