Reviving the local NAACP

Iconic civil rights organization is returning to Fort Dodge

An iconic civil rights organization is returning to Fort Dodge.

A new chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is expected to debut within the month.

Fort Dodge had an NAACP chapter in the past, but it faded out of existence sometime in the 1990s.

Sherry Washington will be the group’s president and Charles Clayton will serve as vice president.

Members of the board include Julia Naylor, a past president of the former NAACP chapter; Fort Dodge Police Chief Roger Porter; Fort Dodge Assistant Police Chief Cory Husske; Jeremey Moore, records and support technician for the Fort Dodge Police Department; the Rev. Michael D. Blackwell; Jesse Ulrich, superintendent of the Fort Dodge Community School District; City Councilman Terry Moehnke; and Ira Shivers, lead chef at TC Mae’s Family Diner.

We believe this group of leaders has the dedication and foresight to prevent the new chapter from falling apart like its predecessor did.

The NAACP was formed in 1909 as a biracial endeavor to advance justice for black Americans. Its mission is to ensure the political, educational and social rights of all people and eliminate race-based discrimination.

”Most people think the NAACP is just for black people,” Shivers said. ”Me, myself, before I learned about it, that’s what I thought. Further looking into it, just bringing in different people from different backgrounds, different races, to bring it all together and bring this community back to where we were in the ’80s, ’90s. That’s what I would like to see is more unity. It goes for everyone.”

Political, educational and social rights will remain at the core of the local chapter’s mission. But the new chapter’s leaders want to expand into doing things like putting on a health fair where people could learn about things like the dangers of high blood pressure. Porter is already talking about teaching people about how the Police Department works, and offering some personal safety tips.

We believe having the NAACP in Fort Dodge again will be good for everyone.

To the NAACP, we say welcome back.