Editorial: Who will pick up the Parmon mantle now?

Editorial: Who will pick up the Parmon mantle now?
March 24
00:00 2016
Photo by Donna Rogers
Linda Coleman, left, a candidate for North Carolina lieutenant governor, and Earline Parmon, a surrogate for U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, listen during the African-American Caucus of the Forsyth County Democratic Party’s candidates meet and greet on Jan. 30th

An incredible woman was laid to rest this week. Earline Parmon died on March 15, Primary Election Day. That day represented part of Parmon’s life; she had urged people to vote absentee for the primary.

Earline Parmon had many titles, but the most enduring of all will be public servant. Look through The Chronicle’s archives and you will find her name going way back. It seems she has always been a visible part of the Winston-Salem community.

Parmon had been an educator and school principal. She founded the now-defunct LIFT Academy, a charter school that is credited with graduating youth who had been written off by the public school system.

Parmon served for 12 years on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and 12 years in the N.C. House of Representatives. In 2012, she was elected to the N.C. Senate. She gave up her seat to go work as director of outreach for U.S. Rep. Alma Adams. She was first vice president of the Winston-Salem Branch of the NAACP, also.

“She was honest, courageous, straight forward and compassionate, committed to the people and concerned about their welfare,” Adams said at Parmon’s funeral service.

“She learned from women like Velma Hopkins and Maize Woodruff,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said. “She then in turn gave back to the young up-and-coming leaders in this community.”

That’s who we need to find: the young up-and-coming leaders in this community. Just as Earline Parmon learned from her mentors and took her work to the next level, those who Parmon mentored should do the same.

The community will miss Parmon. She left an inspiring legacy to follow. She was like a “Moses” to the community. Let us hope some-one will pick up her mantle and become the “Joshua” she left behind.

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