Shawn Fredericks | Correspondent
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Student Chapter at NC State is returning to campus after three years of inactivity. The chapter has had several cycles of inactivity since its inception in 1991. Since 2014, the chapter has been inactive due to the lack of executive board positions being filled after the previous executive board left, according to Malasia McClendon, the current president.
Kyla Payne, secretary for the chapter, said, “The fact our chapter was not active was disturbing with no one having thoughts of restarting it after three years because of what’s going on with minority communities.”
The chapter is returning under the leadership of McClendon with Leah Young, assistant director of Multicultural Student Affairs, as the faculty advisor.
“I decided to reactivate this chapter because I believe that it is important that we as students of NC State work towards creating a community that feels welcoming for all,” McClendon said. “The only way that we can successfully achieve that is by educating individuals on diversity, effective advocacy, and activism.”
The NAACP at NC State hopes the presence of the organization can bridge the gaps between other organizations that have similar goals and foster a community that is supportive of each other’s efforts. The goal of the chapter is to educate and empower individuals to implement change on local, state and national levels.
Advocacy is another component of the NAACP at NC State. Their goal, according to McClendon, is “The equal political, educational, social, and economic opportunities for underrepresented groups on campus and within the community.”
The response to the reactivation of the NAACP at NC State is mostly optimistic with slight caution. Secretary of the Society of Afrikan American Culture, Jessica Stubbs said, “While it is inspiring, I feel like our generation is too soft for the fight of Civil Rights so I want to see what plans they want to implement.”
Other students were more hopeful. “I think it’s a good move the NAACP is on State’s campus,” said Malik Zeigler, the president of SAAC. “(The) NAACP is historically known for fighting for legal rights and having a connection to a national organization with those resources can further our mission of making (NC) State more inclusive and diverse.”
Dajon Lacey, a third-year student studying business administration, said, “Because of the deposition of a lot of minorities, I believe that having NAACP will reinforce civil rights on campus and reinforce our battle against systemic oppression.”
The NAACP at NC State held its first meeting of the year on August 21, in the Washington Sankofa Room of Witherspoon Student Center. During the meeting students broke into three committees to discuss ideas concerning social media, community service and fundraising. Students shared that they would like to see a talent show, partnership with Urban Ministries, create care packages for disadvantaged students during academic breaks and have an event to bring multicultural students together for dialogue.
Students also expressed various reasons for attending the meeting. Donovan Wright, a second year student, said, “I’m a political science major looking to get more involved in the black community through service and not partying because social justice is the spirit of the time.”
Alexis Roston, president of Diversity Inclusion adVenture Experience , said, “I am very excited to have a NAACP chapter on campus and I think their arrival is timely. I am very excited to have an organization to bring together our campus community of people of color and the larger raleigh community”
The meeting was concluded by Wyatt Russell, the vice president of the chapter, with a message of gratitude for students attending the meeting. The next meeting date is Monday, September 18, in the Washington Sankofa Room, Witherspoon 126.
Students interested in joining the NAACP at NC State can contact McClendon at email@example.com. The organization can also be reached through their social media accounts Instagram: ncstate.naacp Twitter: NCState_NAACP.