Jabbar named new president of local NAACP chapter

Al Jabbar was recently elected as the new president of the local NAACP chapter.

Jabbar named new president of local NAACP chapter
December 09
15:29 2020

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County chapter of the NAACP has chosen Al Jabbar to become their next president.  

Jabbar is a Winston-Salem native and has been an advocate for the minority community for decades. He has been married for 32 years and has three daughters and three grandchildren.

Jabbar and the new executive committee will be inaugurated in January. He is currently the third vice president and says he had given thought to running for president and this year finally chose to throw his hat in the ring. He will be taking over for former president Rev. Alvin Carlisle, who said he would not run for re-election this year.

“A lot of people started calling and asking me if I was going to run and around the summer I decided to do so,” said Jabbar. 

Jabbar has fought for the underprivileged people of the community and equal rights for children in the school system for decades, so being the next president of the local NAACP chapter seems to be the next logical step.

“I have an opportunity to further a legacy that has been in place since 1909,” he said. “To be a part of that is very exciting for me and it gives me an opportunity to further what I already do in the community, in terms of connecting with people.”

There are a few things that are high on Jabbar’s list that he wants to accomplish during his first term, such as increasing membership, including youth engagement, ongoing voter registration and education initiatives, and strengthen collaboration with other organizations like the Hispanic League, Urban League, The Minister’s Conference, and local neighborhood associations.

Another goal for Jabbar is to have the local chapter become more visible in the community. He is aware that the pandemic is not allowing the chapter to go beyond the walls as much as they would like.

“The coronavirus has shut down a lot of movement and not allowed large groups to get together, so it has really affected the chapter when it comes to outreach,” he said about the pandemic’s affect on the chapter. “Hopefully, when we get though this, we can further engage the community. The coronavirus has made a major difference in how we normally operate.”

When it comes to any election, Jabbar says you never know how the votes will go until they are tallied, so he was a little anxious before the results were announced.

“With any election, there is some apprehension when you have some opposition, but I appreciate those who came out and had the confidence to vote for me and give me this opportunity,” he continued.

There have been some prominent individuals who have held the title of president of the local chapter. Jabbar is eager to continue with that legacy.

“I am excited; in fact I have talked to a couple of past presidents and hope to talk to some more,” he said. “I am a sponge for information, so I am always reaching out to others, so I can stay well informed of what’s going on in the community. I just thank God for this opportunity.”

Jabbar says he fights so strongly for the community because he grew up as a “welfare child” who was raised by his grandmother and wants to be a helping hand to the next generation as people helped him as a child.

“I always had the understanding that the reason I am who I am is because of other people who thought enough of me to take some time out with me and share some good wisdom and I have stood on that to this day,” he said of his upbringing. “I value good information that will help me to be a better servant to our community.”

Jabbar does not pay much attention to detractors that try to downplay the role of the NAACP and other similar organizations in the community.

“The first thing I always ask the naysayers is, what are you doing for the community?” said Jabbar. “If you are out there doing something, you wouldn’t have so much energy to put towards the negativity.

“That’s often what I am confronted with when people talk about kids and kids dealing with issues. I don’t see them at the school board meetings, I don’t see them at the school volunteering, I don’t see them taking time out to make a difference in kids’ lives, so I really don’t spend a lot of time with people who always say something negative about our kids, because I’m sure somebody said that about me.”

Jabbar says he enjoys helping people of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances.

“I go from volunteering in elementary schools, to sponsoring men out of prison, so I have a broad spectrum of my commitment in the community. So as the leader of the NAACP, it would be another hat to put on among the many hats that I already have,” he said.  “I was built for this.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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