University of Mary Washington NAACP College Chapter
The mission of the NAACP Youth & College Division shall be to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and their harmonious cooperation with other peoples; to stimulate an appreciation of the African Diaspora and other people of color’s contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent, effective youth leadership.
The History of the UMW NAACP College Chapter
Members of the Fredericksburg Branch NAACP met with the James Farmer Multicultural Center staff during the spring of 2018 and discussed the possibility of establishing a University of Mary Washington (UMW) NAACP College Chapter. Following the meeting, Chris Williams, assistant director of the Center, contacted interested students and began researching how to establish a college chapter. He completed many meetings with the students where guidance and support were given on how to move forward. The students he recruited shared their personal backgrounds and experiences with the NAACP, their interest in social justice, and their interest in creating a college chapter.
During an annual social justice fall-break trip, a small group of interested students traveled to The Legacy Museum, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Equal Justice Initiative offices in Montgomery, Alabama and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. After that trip, they were determined to begin the arduous task of establishing The University of Mary Washington NAACP College Chapter. Other students who had also participated in the social justice trip joined the small group and became the first six students interested in beginning a college chapter. The six students met with officers of the Fredericksburg Branch NAACP where they were provided with guidance and financial support. Additionally, they were introduced to the Virginia State Conference and the National Office of the NAACP and additional support was given.
The first student-interest meeting was held on the UMW campus on Monday, January 21, 2019. While the students were working diligently to raise funds and recruit new students, they received assistance from the NAACP National Youth and College Field Director, Derrick Lewis. He visited the University and energized the new students who were beginning to show interest in joining the college chapter. He also provided them with a greater understanding about the work of the NAACP. Throughout the remainder of the semester, additional guidance was provided by the Youth and College Division State Advisor and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Field Director. As a result, the students completed the necessary paperwork required by the National Office of the NAACP to be considered for chartering. When the spring 2019 semester ended, there were 29 students registered as paid members of the Chapter. The Chapter was officially chartered by National NAACP Office on May 18, 2019.