Dayton NAACP wins at national convention

Leaders of the Dayton Unit NAACP were presented with two of the national organization’s top awards during the NAACP’s 106th Annual Convention last week.

The local chapter received the first-place Thalheimer Award for Programs and first-place Thalheimer Award for Publications, according to Derrick Foward, president of the Dayton Unit.

The awards are presented to chapters with outstanding work in implementing the NAACP’s strategic priorities and goals mandated by the national board of directors. The priorities include building membership, enhancing advocacy, rebuilding legal capacity, criminal justice, civil rights compliance, civic engagement and enforcement by governmental and non-governmental entities, economic development, educational equity, youth development, health advocacy and political empowerment.

Foward was at the convention, which was held in July 11-15 in Philadelphia.

“It’s a very humbling experience to be recognized by your peers, not only locally but nationally, for the work you do in the community and for what you are able to accomplish with very limited resources,” Foward said via an emailed statement. “It’s because of the loyal and dedicated staff of volunteers that we are able to sustain this type of performance.”

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This is the fourth time that the local chapter has received the Thalheimer Award, which is named after the late Ross Thalheimer, who was a philosophy instructor at John Hopkins University, a philosophy and sociology instructor at the University of Washington and president of the Thalheimer Foundation.

Foward and other members of the local chapter also received individual awards at the convention.

The local chapter is among the national organization’s approximately 2,200 local units.

Foward was accompanied by nine adult members of the local chapter and several youth and adult members of the unit’s Dayton Youth Council, Littlejohn Junior NAACP Youth Council and local ACT-SO Committee.

These individuals included Foward’s wife Jean Foward, adviser of the unit’s Littlejohn Junior NAACP Youth Council; Pam Sloan, youth council adviser; Carolyn Perkins, youth council adviser; Clair Mae Thompson, secretary; Dinah Williams, membership chair; Chris L. Shaw, Economic Development committee chair; Willie Terrell Jr., scholarship chair; and Executive Committee members Stacey Benson-Taylor and Letoia Howell.

Youth attendees included: Makaila Sloan, 17, president of the Dayton Youth Council; Rahje Perkins, 19, first vice-president of the youth council; Te’Nayia Bailey, 14, president of the Littlejohn Junior NAACP Youth Council; and Ze’Niah Howell, 10, treasurer of the youth council.

ACT-SO attendees included Christina Streaty, 17, of Stivers School for the Arts; Corrie Smith, 15, also a Stivers student; Phanon Davis, 16, observer; Cedric McGhee, ACT-SO Committee chair; and Sylvan Davis, ACT-SO Committee media relations chair.

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