Haywood NAACP to host cookout May 31
The new Haywood County unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) elected officers at during its regular meeting March 29. Chuck Dickson, a local attorney, was elected president. Phillip Gibbs and the Revs. William Staley and Reginald Eldridge were elected vice presidents. The Rev. Walter Bryson will serve as treasurer, with John Vanderstar serving as assistant treasurer. The new unit secretary is Mary McGlauflin, with Katherine Bartel serving as assistant secretary. “At large” members to the executive committee are Lin Forney, Mary Elizabeth Staiger and Gail Mull. NAACP District Director Jerry McCombs conducted the election and swore in the newly elected officers.
The Haywood unit will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center on Pigeon Street in Waynesville. The meeting will be followed by a cookout on the grounds. The meal is free, but donations will be accepted. All members of the public are invited.
“We’re looking at the cookout as both a fundraiser and a ‘friend’ raiser,” said membership committee Chair Mary McGlauflin. “We want it to be a true celebration of the positive presence of the NAACP in our community. In addition to our current members, we hope anyone in Haywood County who would like to learn more about becoming a member will join us on May 31. Currently, we are chartered as an Authorized Committee of the NAACP, and we need at least 100 members to qualify as a branch. Right now, we’re over 80 percent there, but we’d love to have this event put us over the top.”
A top priority for the Haywood County NAACP is to register new voters. The group is also working on issues related to education and schools, law enforcement and the legal process, economic affairs and workers’ issues and addressing environmental concerns. The unit plans to host a screening of the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” at The Strand Theater in Waynesville. The movie will be followed by a discussion of the climate change issues central to the story.
The NAACP was founded in 1909 by a coalition of white and African American leaders. The mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. In North Carolina, NAACP state president the Rev. Dr. William Barber has led the “Forward Together Moral Movement” and the Moral Monday rallies at the North Carolina Legislature. Local members have participated in these marches and rallies in Raleigh during the past year.
Cited as a positive example by many in the national press, the North Carolina NAACP is known for gathering a widely-based coalition to advocate for people who are poor or disadvantaged, women, and our public schools. The nationwide NAACP has put immigration issues and climate change on its agenda along with voting rights and economic opportunity. All people of good will are welcome to join the NAACP.
To join the NAACP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.conate.naacp.org/pages/membership. To ensure becoming a member of the local unit when joining online, enter the Haywood County unit number, 54AD, under “Unit Affiliation.”
Katherine Bartel is the assistant treasurer of the Haywood County NAACP.