. - The oldest NAACP branch in South Carolina commemorates 100 years today, marking the occasion with celebration and a call to younger generations.
"We're so cognizant of the fact that we stand on the shoulders of folks who were here prior to us and allow us to stand here before you for a one-hundred-year celebration," Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott said.
While the chapter honors its history through the era of Jim Crow laws and desegregation of Charleston public school, the leadership also looks towards the future and the need to supplement membership with youth.
"We won't have a future if we don't have young people engaged," Stephen Green, NAACP's National Youth & College Director, said. "It's critical for us to engage a next level of leadership."
As a result, the Charleston chapter is pushing to re-energize its youth council.
"In order to reactivate, we need twenty-five people to engage and be on the front lines," Green said.
"We'd ask everyone 'Who's got a youth?' What does it cost for a membership for the youth. Ten dollars." Scott said, adding the chapter's board is even willing to front the fee to get young voices engaged-
"You bring us the youth," Scott said. "We'll get the membership."
While efforts are underway to move past stereotypes of the centuries- old organization.
"Oftentimes, some people critique the NAACP because they move to slow," Green said. "Organizing on social media and organizing online has been able to prove a rapid response. "We're doing a new way to re energize young people who are facing the middle of a civil rights movement they knew not of before. I'm hoping those twenty-five will stand up and volunteer say we're here and we're ready to go."
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