DURHAM – The Durham Branch of the NAACP’s installation of officers ceremony came with a few warnings and a rallying cry from Fred Foster Jr., branch president.
In his opening remarks, Foster asked the audience at Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ which bill the N.C. Legislature would pass first when the 2013 session convenes.
“Voter ID,” Foster answered. The second bill would be changes to the racial justice act that allows death-row inmates to use statistics of racial bias to have their sentences reduced.
He urged the new and returning officers to show a strong presence at the annual Historic Thousand march on Jones Street in Raleigh Feb. 9. The rally will draw attention to the need for funding for education, health care and other issues. “If we don’t show up at the ballot box, then you will rue the day you did not,” Foster said, referring to the fact that both houses of the Legislature are now under GOP control. “I need all hands on deck,” for the February march, he said, “because this work is too serious, and we stand to lose too much.”
He added, “A politician can count. Always remember that.”
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson gave the oath of office to three appointed board members, then to the slate of elected officers. Vivian Timlic was sworn in as executive board director. Steve Fountain was sworn in as community coordinator, and Phillip Jackson as political action chair.
Elected officers for the year are Foster, president; Roland Staton, first vice president; Luci McMillan, second vice president; Patrick Hannah, third vice president; Maxine Hardy, secretary; Korea S. Stephenson, treasurer; Setrina Hunter, assistant treasurer; and Ruth Poole and Louise Simms, both executive at large.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most recognized civil rights organization. Its mission is “to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.”