In front of a supportive audience of friends, members, and guests, Judge Carol Howard (7th District, sub circuit) swore in the newly elected officers and board members of the Chicago Westside Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Our annual meeting took place at Wallace’s Catfish Corner and was highlighted by the current branch president, Vera Davis, witnessing the swearing in of her successor, Karl Brinson.

Davis, who became president of the branch in 2000, only four months before the previous president, Nola Bright, passed away, said, “I’m confident that Mr. Brinson will continue the long tradition of West Side activism and empowerment.

Brinson, formerly the first vice president and fundraising chair of the Freedom Fund said, “With Mrs. Davis as the chairman and the other officers, board members, and members working together, you can expect to see more activities sponsored by committees and more visibility in the greater community.”

Second Vice President Donovan Taylor, couldn’t contain his excitement. He announced that he personally plans to recruit branch members who are retired to manage the branch office so that it might remain open on weekdays during regular business hours. He stressed for everyone to, “Stay tuned. We plan to leverage the NAACP name to carry out the mission of the organization.”

The other officers sworn in were: Vera G. Davis, board chairman; Vice Presidents Wilbert Cook, Donovan Taylor, and Daryl Jones; Secretaries, Patricia B. Easley (financial), Carolyn Hankins-Page (recording), Carol K. Dorsey (assistant secretary); and Treasurer, Annie Marie Ford.

The board members sworn in were: Walter Washington, ACT-SO program coordinator; Rev. Lewis Flowers, community coordinator; Ladarius Curtis, economic development; Bernard Clay, education; Renell E. Perry, fundraising; Barbara Jones, health; Phyllis Logan, housing; Ray C. Easley, labor and industry; Patrice Ball-Reed, legal redress; Loretta Kern, membership; Mary Gardner, political action; Rev, Lamont Rutledge, religious affairs; Steven Page, veterans affairs; Deborah Williams, youth works; At Large, Melissa Amison, Rev. Wardell Newsome, Constance Jackson, and Nicole Weathersby.

Cong. Danny K. Davis (7th-Ill.), charged us to work to make certain that the future generations will have a better quality of life than we have experienced. He also volunteered to give a $1,000 scholarship to the member who has sold the most memberships.

The Westside Branch of the NAACP is located at 1140 North Lamon. (773/261-5890)

Patricia Easley is a secretary for finance for the Westside NAACP