NAACP recognizes community members' efforts
The Vance Granville Community College Civic Center was packed Saturday night for the 105th annual Equality Fund Banquet of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Timothy Daye Sr., president of the NAACP Vance chapter, said the organization accomplished a great deal during 2013, including participation in eight Moral Monday protests and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
State Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., who gave the keynote address, rallied the crowd as he criticized what he called a wave of conservatism in the state legislature.
"What did they do in the N.C. General Assembly this year?" he said. "A voter suppression act that is unlike any act in the United States of America."
McKissick said the new voting law, which ends same-day registration and shortens early voting, is an attempt to suppress the black vote in North Carolina.
"If anything, we should expand early voting because people like it, and it increases participation," he said. "There are practices taking place that are undoing the gains we made in civil rights."
He stressed the importance of investing in education.
"We either pay now or pay later," McKissick said.
The organization also honored three community leaders for the 2014 Outstanding NAACP Award, 2014 Outstanding Community Service Award and the 2014 Achievement Award.
Evelyn Mitchell received the Outstanding NAACP award as a dedicated member of the Vance County branch. She has served on several committees, including education, membership, legal redress and health.
She currently serves as the chair of the political action committee and has engaged 28 area churches to commit an advocate to represent their church.
Carolyn Taylor received the Outstanding Community Service award for 25 years of work in Vance County Schools.
State Rep. Nathan Baskerville received the Achievement award. He was elected in 2012 to serve district 32 in the state House of Representatives. Baskerville also owns a law practice in Henderson.