KNOXVILLE, TN (Nov14, 2019) – The Knoxville National Association for the Advancement of Colored People recently celebrated 100 years of service with a gala at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in East Knoxville.
The keynote speaker was the esteemed Gloria Jean Sweet-Love, President of the NAACP Tennessee State Conference since January 1996. Under her leadership, the TN State Conference has become a force to be reckoned with in the Civil Rights Advocacy, policy, and political arenas.
During her tenure, she has established an Annual Legislative Day on the Hill and Race Relations Summit. She is currently establishing the first Excellence & Equity in Education (EXCEL) program for at-risk students.
Sweet-Love has concentrated on building at the state conference level. She has chartered and reactivated branches, youth councils and college chapters and done a tremendous job of recruiting, training and empowering volunteers across the state to advocate for justice and equality.
Sweet-Love is the recipient of many distinguished awards and attained a number of first that include: first African American woman elected to the Haywood County School Board, first African American woman elected as president of the Tennessee School Board Association, and first African American woman to be appointed by the governor as commission of the Peace Officers Standards & Training Commission.
The Master of Ceremony was the Rev. L. Samuel Brown, Pastor of Logan Temple AME Zion Church in Knoxville. Brown’s dedication to ministry started at an early age. He was 17-years old when he gave his first sermon, and 10-years later was appointed as pastor of his home church Mount Pleasant AME Zion in Rockford, TN. Brown is also the Knoxville Democratic Party Dist. 1 Vice-Chair.
FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE ADVOCACY AWARDEES:
Political Advocacy Award – ONE KNOX LEGACY COALITION: an organization that fights for community engagement and citizen involvement in the political process: through voter registration, education and participation, as well as community development and civic engagement; creating a platform for the community to identify and elect leaders who stay in the fight for the rights of all people.
Educational Advocacy Award – STOP SCHOOL PUSHOUT: an organization that fights for educational achievement and success for all students; which share the same commitment as the branch of emphasizing administrator and teacher diversity, targeting disparities in achievement and discipline, and supporting continuing cultural competency awareness throughout the school system. For more information, visit Facebook Stop School Pushout.
Social Advocacy Award – C.O.N.N.E.C.T. MINISTRIES: an organization the fights to ensure that citizens have equal access to services, such as housing, social services, and specifically provide support to those that are disproportionally disadvantaged and have experienced social injustice.
Economic Advocacy Award – TN HEALTH CARE CAMPAIGN: an organization that fights directly or indirectly to ensure and/or enhance the economic health and status of individuals, families, and the community-at-large through information, education or facilitation efforts, and services.
KNOXVILLE HONORS AWARDEES:
Faith Community Honor Award – Mt. Zion Baptist Church: a faith-based organization that has been a faithful and consistent supporter of the Knoxville Branch NAACP through mission accomplishment, membership campaign, and financial giving.
Legacy Honor Award – THE BECK CULTURAL EXCHANGE CENTER: a community organization that has been a longstanding, constant and reliable voice of education and advocacy for people of color in the Knoxville Community and a partner in the fight for justice and equality with the Knoxville NAACP.
President’s Honor Award – REV. DR. HAROLD A. MIDDLEBROOK: an individual that has shown leadership through their dedication and commitment to the cause of civil rights by going beyond the call of duty in the quest to ensure that the principles of the NAACP are exemplified in their actions.
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination and racial hatred.
Executive committee: Brenda Anderson, Rev. L. Samuel Brown, Rev. Donna Butler, Margaret Davis, Ron Davis, Rev. Dr. Gordon Gibson, Louise Gorenflo, Lance McCold, Rev. Dr. Harold Middlebrook, LaKenya Middlebrook, Rev. Dr. Jim Sessions, Rev. Dr. Johnnie Skinner, and Al Wilkins.
The next meeting will be at 6 pm, Thursday, Dec. 5 at Beck Cultural Exchange Center on Dandridge Ave. Meetings are monthly on the first Thursday at the Beck. To connect with the Knoxville chapter visit KnoxvilleNAACP.org or on Facebook.
Knoxville Branch NAACP, PO Box 14096, Knoxville TN 37914
General information, 865-622-4748, firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints of Discrimination Legal Redress Committee 865-622-4708, email@example.com