On Thursday, February 12 the Lower Sussex NAACP Youth Council #2719 hosted a Founders Day Program at the Milton Library. The event commemorated 100 years of scarifice and struggle that included both Civil Rights giants and thousands of nameless, faceless, unknown foot soldiers who altered the course of American history.
Chief among these freedom fighters was a courageous, multi-racial group of citizens who dared to confront the terror, exploitation, lynching and desenfrachisement long endured by Blacks in America. In 1909 on the centennial of Lincoln’s birthday, they sent out a call “for a national conference on the Negro question,” peacefully planting the seeds of an organization that would seek to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination.” These NAACP Founders included William English Walling, Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, Oswald Garrison, Villard and Ida B. Wells.
The Lower Sussex Youth Council honored these brave pioneers with several activities including a cake cutting ceremony, a power point presentation highlighting the NAACP’s monumental achievements, and a stirring keynote address by historian and professor, William Walls. The program also included readings of the NAACP and Youth College mission statements by youth council member Shamir Showell and council president, Grace Batten I. In addition, the youth and adults in attendance heard a powerful call to action through activism by Councilwoman Joan Deaver and Indienous Rights activist, Jules Jackson. They also received words of wisdom and encouragement delivered by Wesley College graduate, Justin Streett.