The piece, which focuses on harmony, collaboration and cooperation, notes that for the first time, the NAACP has invited President Russell M. Nelson to speak "alongside notable civil rights supporters and organizers."
President Nelson's address at the 110th NAACP Annual Convention is especially significant as it will be held at Detroit's Cobo Center — previously known as Cobo Hall — where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at a historic gathering prior to his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington D.C.
"In recent years the NAACP and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have found significant common cause," the opinion piece reads. "And the partnership has become something of a parable in what coaction can accomplish in an era too often marked by division."
On July 17, the Church announced that President Nelson would be speaking at the convention. In a press release that day, the Church stated that the First Presidency has "made its partnership with the NAACP a high priority."
Last year, Elder Jack N. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy, spoke at the NAACP convention in San Antonio, Texas. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland also called the NAACP "one of the most legendary organizations in the black community and one of the most charitable as well."
Referencing the Church's initial partnership with the NAACP when it helped restore a field office in Mississippi with symbolic significance, the article notes how the collaboration has grown over time. Now, the NAACP and the Church have also partnered together to provide free workshops on personal finance. Brigham Young University, a Church-owned school, has begun working with the NAACP as well.
The significance of having the prophet of the Church speak in the same venue as King, wrote Eubank and Boykin-Towns, shows that the NAACP values cooperation above all else. It also speaks to their desire to overcome social divisions, and as King once said, to change "the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
Read the full article at The Detroit News.