As the NAACP celebrates 100 years of the “advancement of colored people,” the Columbus-Lowndes County chapter is continuing its efforts to provide scholarships for local students.
The group last month hosted its biggest fundraiser for the event, a scholarship banquet, in conjunction with the 100-year anniversary celebration with the theme, “Celebrating 100 years: This is our moment. This is our time.”
Last year, the local NAACP was able to provide 10 scholarships to graduating high schoolers at Lowndes County and Columbus schools, ranging from $50 to $250.
Last year”s scholarship recipients — Wesley Gordon, Brittana Brewer, Akedra Ross, Tequila McCoy, Samuel Harris, Christine Hall, Taylor Prude, Victoria Hargrove, Tiffany Harrell and Tangela Sanders — were chosen based on an essay contest and other criteria.
This year, the goal is to give out 15 scholarships.
After 100 years, the NAACP has “stood the test of time” and continues to serve, noted LaVonne Harris, president of the Lowndes County chapter.
“It was the talents and tenacity of NAACP members that saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society,” said Harris, who maintains the organization still is relevant.
“Is the NAACP still relevant? Yes it is and will always be,” she said. “If it wasn”t for the NAACP, we wouldn”t have the right to vote, go to (the) school of your choice and have the jobs we have.
“We would not see mayors, city councilmen, state representatives, state governors and, yes, a president.”
For more information on the Columbus-Lowndes NAACP or to donate to its scholarship fund, call LaVonne Harris at 662-329-6102. Checks should be made payable to the NAACP scholarship fund and can be mailed to Columbus-Lowndes NAACP, P.O. Box 527, Columbus, MS 39702.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.