Local NAACP launches Young Adult Commitee

Ricky Johnson raises concerns about the local education system during the town hall hosted by the NAACP Young Adult Committee.

Local NAACP launches Young Adult Commitee
January 31
00:00 2019

In preparation for the 2020 election, earlier this week the newly launched Young Adult Committee (YAC) of the local NAACP invited young professionals from all walks of life to come together and have a serious conversation on the issues currently afflicting the African-American community in Winston-Salem. 

The Less Talk More Activism Town Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 29 was designed to build momentum ahead of the upcoming election and build a network of young adults with invested interest in uplifting the community.  Kellie Easton, president of the Young Adult Committee, said although the organization is still fairly new, through various programs and initiatives, they plan to aggressively pursue policy decisions that will protect and advance the rights of citizens. She said, “Through community programs, forums and training, we will work effortlessly to energize, educate, and organize young adults in Winston-Salem and fight for social justice.

“… Ultimately our goal is to influence policy decisions while cultivating and empowering Winston-Salem’s next generation of courageous, talented, and intelligent young adults to secure political and active community leadership.” 

Before opening the town hall for questions, a panel of individuals from various backgrounds and areas of expertise sparked conversations of interest. Speakers included Kitrinka Gordon, founder of the Happenings in the Tre-4 Facebook page, an event page for residents of Winston-Salem; Maya Gilliam, owner of Maati Spa; Ricky Johnson, local scholar and community activist; Brittany Ward, founder of Hoops4Lyfe, and Quemeka Shavers, president of the Young Democrats of Forsyth County. Former Forsyth County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon was also part of the panel.

For nearly two hours, panelists and other concerned citizens in attendance discussed various topics and issues within the African-American community and ways to remedy those problems. Topics included education, the importance of voting, policy making, social justice, business opportunities, the current state of the local government and much more. 

After sharing his own thoughts and conversing with others, Witherspoon applauded Easton and the Young Adult Committee for bringing the young people in our community together. He said coming together and having constructive dialogue about the real issues is how real change happens. 

“This is a great event. This is what change looks like. Christianity started with 12, the sit-in movement started with four. The Montgomery Bus Boycott started with one,” he continued. “… So this is what change looks like.  You organize, then you mobilize, but when you mobilize it’s good to have a small group where you can make your plan and strategize. Then when you mobilize, that’s when the numbers come in.” 

Raven Johnson, a current student at Winston-Salem State University, agreed with Witherspoon’s assessment of the town hall. Although she isn’t from Winston, Johnson said she is moved by the activism in the city. 

“Throughout history there’s this narrative that black people can’t come together but that’s something that isn’t true because if it was, we wouldn’t be here today,” Johnson said. 

Throughout the year the Youth Adult Committee of the Winston-Salem NAACP will hold various programs and events. For more information on how to get involved, call (443) 508-8126 or visit the Winston-Salem NAACP on Facebook.  

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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