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In an effort to understand local concerns and further promote economic equality, Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC) Executive Director Danielle Scheiner and Deputy Director Laura Lea Palmer met with representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of the Montgomery County-based branch #6304. Held on June 24, the meeting established an important dialogue and action around economic inclusion efforts.

CEDC NAACP Photo
Pictured left to right: Dr. Craig Follins, Kevin Grunnels, Danielle Scheiner, Carl White (NAACP Chapter President), Laura Lea Palmer

The NAACP has a mission to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure economic equality rights of all persons. Led by Chapter President Carl White, the Montgomery County-based branch #6304 of the NAACP (MCNAACP) is acting on its commitment to further economic prosperity for individuals of all races in Montgomery County.

“Diversity is powerful,” stated White. “There are many capable black men and women ready to make a difference in the Conroe and Montgomery County economy. We are here to ensure that economic prosperity exists for everyone.”

The CEDC’s goals of growing economic prosperity and the inclusion of all in Conroe’s economic success aligns with the mission of the NAACP, according to Scheiner.

“An important element of our discussion was about education. With our partners, the CEDC is focused on education and developing a skilled workforce for jobs created by the expansion of the economy in Conroe. We agree with Carl and his team that diversity is essential in developing a talented, available workforce for the future of the Conroe region,” said Scheiner.

Scheiner and Palmer connected the NAACP with local nonprofit Education for Tomorrow Alliance. Out of that connection, the NAACP will now have a direct liaison to the nonprofit and its training programs. White agreed that a vital piece of the meeting was the discussion around education and the NAACP’s scholarship program.

“Education is so important. When you receive your education, that is something that cannot be taken from you,” offered White. “The opportunity to connect with Education for Tomorrow Alliance is a great thing for the NAACP.”

Consistent with its commitment to education, MCNAACP has a goal to award three, $1,000 scholarships every year to local students. Having awarded nearly $20,000 in scholarships the past eight years, MCNAACP continues to look for local businesses who want to assist in their endeavors. White believes a stronger relationship with the CEDC and Conroe-based businesses will lead to a more robust effort.

“Being connected with the business community will enhance our scholarship program,” added White. “Companies like Spirit of Texas Bank and Buckalew Chevrolet have already been extraordinarily helpful. When more companies see the positive results of our scholarships, they will want to be on board.”

White, a lifelong Conroe resident, is encouraged by the early stages of this recent push for economic equality. He believes the key to moving past racial biases is having uncomfortable, yet important, conversations and becoming educated on issues. Meaningful change, according to White, can then truly begin to happen. In Conroe, this change can transpire through meetings like the one with the CEDC.

“The number one goal of our meeting with the CEDC was to discuss economic inclusion in Montgomery County. We are all in this together. Be a part of the solution by initiating the tough dialogue, doing your research, and helping somebody,” said White. “That is how we build strong advocates and move from words to action.”

The CEDC remains committed to action by working with the NAACP towards achieving economic equality. Promoting education, leveraging relationships, and connecting the NAACP with Conroe business and industry, as well as maintaining dialogue, will continue to be significant going forward.

“We welcome the CEDC’s desire to inspire change and look forward to continuing our work with them,” said White.

For more information on how to further MCNAACP’s mission of economic inclusion, visit www.mcnaacp6304.org or reach the organization at (936) 520-0106.