Jan. 22, 2015. Officially chartered on Feb. 15, 2014 the Watauga NAACP Branch recently elected its second slate of officers. This marks the first two-year term for a full slate of officers for this newly formed branch.
Rev. Jerry McCombs, North Carolina NAACP District 4 Director and 2014 N.C. NAACP Director of the Year attended the local branch meeting on Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to preside over the swearing in of officers. Elected to the 2015-2017 term were Allison Jennings, President; Todd Carter, Vice President; Kedith England, 2nd Vice President; Mary Lyons, Secretary; Nancy Love, Assistant Secretary; Melanie Childers, Treasurer and Harvard Ayers, Assistant Treasurer. Also sworn in that day were Executive Committee Chairs and at-large board members Marg McKinney, Fred Brown, John Geary, Judith Geary, Lynn Coultard, Anne O’Leary and Jeffrey Boyer.
Not yet upon its first anniversary, the Watauga NAACP Branch has moved quickly to establish itself in the community. In 2014 they hosted a community picnic and kickball game with the Boone Fire and Police Departments, held a candlelight vigil seeking justice in the shooting of unarmed Ferguson, MO teenager Michael Brown, conducted summer long voter registration drives and organized a food drive with the Boone Police Department to benefit the Hunger and Health Coalition.
While the Watauga branch focuses locally on issues of poverty and preventing discrimination in the areas of education, immigration, voting rights and healthcare they are also active at the state level. In conjunction with the local Forward Together Movement and I Have A Dream Committee, the local branch is chartering a bus to Raleigh on Feb. 14 to attend the annual Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly. The bus is open to anyone wishing to attend and the cost per person is $35.
General Membership meetings are open to everyone and are held monthly on the third Sunday of each month, 4 p.m. at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 381 E. King St. The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday February 15 and the community has an open invitation to this, as well as all other and all subsequent monthly general meetings, to learn more and to get involved at the local level.
For further information, please contact Allison Jennings at WataugaNAACP@gmail.com. To learn more about the Watauga NAACP Branch, visit them online at www.watauganaacp.weebly.com and follow them on Facebook/WataugaNAACP and Twitter @WataugaNAACP
About the NAACP: Since its founding by a multi-racial group of activists in 1909, the NAACP has worked for the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. Even during periods of vicious violence and overt racial hostility, NAACP leaders and members have steadfastly and courageously kept to nonviolent means to advocate for greater justice through marches, the press, the ballot, lobbying, and litigation.
Some prominent NAACP aided advancements included 1954 Brown vs Board of Ed., 1955 Bus Boycott, 1957 and 1964 Civil Rights Acts, 1964 Economic Opportunity Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act, and Fair Housing Act of 1968.
While issues of racial injustice remain central to the NAACP, the organization takes very seriously its mission statement to seek equality of rights of all persons and is a powerful advocate for people who are marginalized. Marriage equality is another issue of civil rights more recently embraced, with the National NAACP Board passing a formal resolution in support of marriage equality in May 2012. The NAACP is also very concerned with rights and protections for immigrants and undocumented persons, people without healthcare, people living in poverty, women’s rights, public education, voting rights, and environmental justice.