Jan. 6 marked the first meeting of the new year for the Westside Branch of the NAACP, and a new president, Karl Brinson, conducting the meeting.

Outgoing president, Vera Davis, will continue as chairperson. After conducting all new business of the organization, members honored Mrs. Davis with a bouquet of roses, crystal vase and a beautiful necklace.

President Brinson said, “One of the things we’re talking about doing is to try to get a more ‘we’-active community, as opposed always looking to individuals to take us to that next level and try to provide that leadership within that community, [instead of] we all being a part of the movement and activities in our community. So that’s what we want to do now is to try and open it up and try to get more people participation dealing with our issues.

“I don’t want to say that I’m going to carry or I’m trying to lead us somewhere. I don’t too much take that to heart talking about this leader thing. I think [of the president as] more of a representative or advocate and that we just have to learn what we have to do for ourselves and not wait on individuals or look for individuals to take us or lead us. So what we’re talking about at NAACP is having more participation and organization, and more activity from individuals to make this a strong viable organization from this day forward. That’s one of the things I envision as the future and president of the NAACP.”

One of the highlights honoring Mrs. Davis for her tenure as president was 7-year-old Janeicia Williams, who recited the following from memory:

“What does Mrs. Vera G. Davis stand for?

V is for Victorious, she always expect us to be victorious.

E is for Excellent, she is excellent in what she does.

R is for Respectful, she is a very respectful person.

A is for Asset, she is an asset to the community.

G is for Great, she is a very great person.

D is for Determined, she’s determined to make things right.

A is for Achieve, she has achieved many things.

V is for Visionary, I know she is a visionary person.

I is for Intelligent, she is a very intelligent person.

S is for Satisfy, she tries to satisfy everyone.

That is what Vera G. Davis stands for.”

Mrs. Davis was overwhelmed by Janeicia’s poem and responded, “This is just too much. I don’t know what to say.”

Janeicia is the daughter of Deborah Williams, youth advisor for NAACP and assistant to newly elected State Representative LaShawn Ford. Mrs. Davis said Janeicia had raised the bar for her.

“Thanks to everyone. It’s been a labor of love. I’ve enjoyed doing everything that I do. You already honored me at the Freedom Fund, and I thank you, but I’ve already received my pay. My pay is having something that you care enough about to do. Some people don’t have anything that they care about. I’m satisfied.”