NAACP Adopts CCJI/Ga State Chapter Resolution on Emmett Till Act Enforcement: Resolution Adopted at NAACP National Convention June 16, 2013

Vote on resolution at NAACP national convention July 16

Orlando, FL – On July 16, during its annual national convention in Orlando, the NAACP adopted a resolution in which the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) at Syracuse University (SU) played a substantial role in drafting. The Georgia NAACP chapter submitted the resolution which was approved by the resolution committee of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization prior to the convention.

The resolution calls on President Barack Obama to take leadership in demanding that the full effect of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act be implemented. “The 2008 Act required the Justice Department and the FBI to ‘expeditiously investigate’ and ‘provide all the resources necessary to ensure timely and thorough investigations’ of unsolved civil rights murders,” explains Professor Janis McDonald, co-director of the Initiative. “They have shown no sense of urgency reflecting the intent of Congress in passing this law, however.”

“We are honored to work with the NAACP on this important resolution,” says CCJI co-director and Professor Paula Johnson. “This highly-regarded institution has always held as an objective to seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights. These families’ voices are duty-bound to be heard and they deserve the justice that a true, full accounting would provide.”

This summer the CCJI has deployed law students to five southern states including Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Known as the Five Cities Project their mission is to begin to take a full accounting of racially motivated killings that may have occurred during the period between 1955 and 1980. This comes on the heels of the CCJI identifying and turning over 196 names of potential victims of civil rights era killings to the Department of Justice.

About the Cold Case Justice Initiative

The CCJI project conducts investigations and research on unresolved cases, public forums and other special events, and serves as a clearinghouse for sharing and receiving information on active cases. The CCJI insists on vigilant attention to these long unresolved racially motivated killings and continuing issues of racial justice.

About Syracuse University

Chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading institution dedicated to bold, inventive ideas and initiatives. Syracuse University students are committed to ongoing learning in the classroom and beyond, and faculty further understanding through rigorous research and wide-ranging partnerships.  Together, we change lives, communities and the world. This is Scholarship in Action.