Dr. Deborah Robinson recently joined the faculty at National Labor College as the Director of the Emergency Readiness and Response Management degree program. She is an internationally recognized facilitator and senior program manager with more than 25 years of experience working with agencies, organizations, and movements in numerous countries, so when she was asked to be on a panel on “International Initiatives” at the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit on May 24, Dr. Robinson was eager to be involved.
Founded in 2005, NAACP Leadership 500 (L500) has served as a “training ground for leadership development, professional networking, partnerships, and effective civil rights and social justice advocacy,” bringing together professionals from various walks of life to “create innovative and effective strategies for advancing positive change for our families, communities and our society.”
Contributing to this mission, Dr. Robinson joined other experts on the “International Initiatives” panel to recommend strategies to L500 and in turn, the NAACP. The title of her presentation was, “Game Changers, International Advocacy and UN Mechanisms.”
In 2011, the NAACP identified six “Game Changers” that currently shape its work on the national and local levels. The game changers are: Public Safety and Criminal Justice; Economic Stability; Education; Health; Voting Rights and Political Representation; and Environmental and Climate Justice. After discussing international advocacy strategies and United Nations mechanisms that could be used for each game changer, Dr. Robinson offered the following four recommendations:
- Every “Game Changer” should have an international advocacy strategy.
- The NAACP should develop an International or Global Programs Department.
- Game Changer initiatives should utilize a human rights framework.
- Leadership 500 and the NAACP Annual Convention should have a “global citizenship”/international advocacy track.
NLC’s degree in Emergency Readiness and Response Management is designed for rank-and-file union members and adult members of union families interested in any area of emergency management. This includes, but is not limited to first responders such as fire service, EMS, law enforcement, public safety and related fields. Students gain the skills currently in high demand for expanding opportunities at the federal, state and local government levels, as well as in industry, the military, or health care. NLC is the only higher education institution offering a Bachelor of Science degree that combines emergency management courses — which equip students to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters — with courses in labor studies. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nlc.edu/emergency-readiness/index.html.