NORWALK, Conn. – Jalin Sead is branching out, leaving the NAACP and founding the Connecticut Coalition For Change (CC4C) in the hopes of making Norwalk a better place, in multiple ways.
“Most revolutions, if you want to call it that, all start when you raise consciousness in the community,” Sead said. “If people knew what was going on in the city, I don’t think a lot of that stuff would actually happen.”
He aims to raise awareness of the affairs happening in Norwalk so that people may “come to their own consensus of the action they need to take,” he said. He hopes to then invite them to be part of the decision making involved in those affairs.
With the CC4C, Sead hopes to address many concerns, including rectifying police relations with the minority community, registering 2,000 new Norwalk voters by the 2018 election, and promoting drug prevention in Connecticut, such as combatting the opium and heroin epidemic, he said.
Sead, who is Democratic Town Committee (DTC) deputy treasurer, also aims to launch a mentoring program in February. The program will mentor youths in academics, as well as in becoming more aware of what happens in the community and help them become “community-minded,” he said. Sead intends for the program to be “millennial-friendly and forward thinking.”
Sead co-founded the CC4C with Brien McMahon High School student Darius Williams, whom Sead referred to as his right hand man. Sead has known Williams since the latter was a child, and the two have been working together since last October.
“We think a lot alike,” Sead said. “He reminds me of myself. I started getting involved about ten years ago, when I was a junior or sophomore in high school, and he’s somebody who has that same drive and passion.” Prior to CC4C, Williams has aided Sead in attending Council meetings and Board of Education meetings. In the past year, they organized a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.
Sead also hopes to promote mental health, as Williams and other coalition followers received NARCAN® training at the Norwalk Hospital to administer narcan, a drug used to treat overdoses. Sead said the Coalition is planning to begin their own NARCAN® training program.
Sead plans to meet with every elected official in Norwalk in hopes of gaining support and building partnerships. “We believe that, especially in community service and politics and everything, It’s all about partnership,” Sead said. “Partnering with elected officials, partnering with other organizations and partnering with the community so we can come up with solutions to these big problems.”
The CC4C’s core values include respect, excellence, teamwork, integrity, diversity, and inclusion. “I don’t want this to be an all-black organization or a Black and Latino organization,” Sead said. “I want it to be a multi-racial, multi-generational organization.”
Sead ran for Norwalk Branch NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) president last fall, losing to Brenda Penn-Williams, a veteran political activist.
“As of November 9th, 2017 I am no longer an Executive Board member, Chair of any committee, or General Member of the Norwalk Branch, NAACP,” Sead said in an email. “I still believe in the goals of the NAACP, and would partner with the NAACP, and would welcome any collaboration in the future. I am focusing on trying to figure out ways to effectively bring about positive change for the City of Norwalk, and specifically Minorities, and low income families.”
Sead believes he will do more with the CC4C than he could with the NAACP. “Their purpose is really to fight for racial equality and make sure that people are treated properly based on their race,” he said. “I just see that there’s so much more to the community and there’s a bigger conversation that needs to be had… I just saw there was more I could do, dealing with a lot more issues that the NAACP really typically doesn’t handle.”
The mentoring program he plans would take too long to organize with the NAACP alone, he said.
“There’s so many people that want to do something great, that I think we just have to sit down and have that conversation, and I hope that conversation can be started in some way with CC4C,” Sead said. “…A lot of times when you get involved, you get disconnected from the people, and I think CC4C is trying to bring it back to the people.”
Andrew Shukovsky is a Norwalk Community College student, volunteering for NancyOnNorwalk.