Rock Island County NAACP Celebrates 10 Years

June  23, 2014

      Advocating for justice and equality is a community effort.

      That was the theme over the weekend at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Rock Island County NAACP. The chapter recognized local leaders and awarded high school students with scholarships.

      Liz Sherwin, the chapter's president, says the decade milestone is the result of months of strategic planning about how to strengthen African-Americans' influence in Rock Island County. 

      "We address all the issues that people are confronting: ex offenders, the schools, labor, jobs--so those are all the issues. We build programs in the community around those each year so that people can come and get educated and learn things."

       Sherwin says ten years ago, chapter membership was dwindling. A new group of leaders revived the club and established three priorities: improving Black voter turnout, increasing the number of Blacks in Rock Island County schools, and encouraging higher education.  The chapter awarded seven individuals and organizations for their work in the community.

      "Always, if we recognize people in the community that are doing things, hopefully it'll promote other people and make them wnat to do better."

      Augustana College received The Charles and Annie Robinson Education Image Award for its diversity programs.  Also, Mayor Dennis Pauley declared June 22nd NAACP Day in Rock Island County.