NAACP Portland Chapter 1120B
 
November 2020 Branch Presidential Nominee
 
A message from Sharon Gary-Smith:
 
Dear Members,
 
On November 21, 2020, the NAACP Portland Branch elects a new slate of officers to serve for the next two years. I am proud to be our Branch’s nominee for President. In this critical moment of reckoning, I see our Branch playing a prominent role in The Movement for Black Lives. There is much good and necessary work to accomplish and many opportunities to advance racial justice and to heal injustices against us. I look forward to answering the call to amplify the NAACP’s historical leadership, to advance new partnerships and collaborations that build on our successes, and to uplift the creativity, thinking and justice activism that has emerged in the present moment.
 
For nearly six decades, I have intentionally focused on and served my Black community, through leadership and engagement with numerous communities to elevate the economic, educational, health, environmental, and policy engagements of marginalized communities. I started my activist career as a high school youth leader and community organizer working on racial and gender justice. I have been an organizer, a project manager, a program director, an executive director, and an international programs administrator in my home state of Oregon, as well as Washington, Georgia, Texas, the District of Columbia, and in the Caribbean.
 
The nominees who surround me are just as important as the President in achieving our mission, so, I encourage you to get to know and support all of the nominees on this slate. These nominees were vetted by the Nominating Committee and recommended to the membership. Of critical importance is the role of Treasurer, the officer tasked with demonstrating reliable, transparent fiscal management, providing monthly financial reports to membership, and safeguarding the branch’s assets. The Nominating Committee selected Rhyan M. Hills for Treasurer as the best person to bring integrity, accountability and transparency to all financial decision-making, a choice I thoroughly support. Our branch has benefited greatly from The Movement for Black Lives, which has resulted in a large influx of new members since March and has added greatly to the Branch’s resources. These resources require exceptional stewardship, which I am confident Rhyan will bring.
 
I also believe we need to uplift the younger members of our community, to make space for their critical analysis and their desire for change. We need to support them as they share their mobilization and engagement experiences, and acknowledge that all movements for justice have been fueled by the prominent roles and presence of younger activists from America to places like South Africa, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.
 
As well as returning the NAACP to brighter, more inclusive engagements with membership and community, I want to convince others that their service is valuable, their desire for accountability is correct, and their ability to see and bring change is possible. For all of those reasons, I felt compelled to say yes to running for the position of President. I look forward to serving and working with you over the next two years.
 
In Solidarity,
Sharon
 
Branch Election
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PDX NAACP
(503) 438-7096
1257 Lloyd Center
Portland, Or 97232
portlandnaacp@gmail.com
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