State’s 1st high school NAACP chapter forming locally

Thurgood Marshall STEM High School is home to the first high school NAACP chapter in the state, it was announced Monday.

The chapter — named the Move Foward Thurgood Marshall NAACP Chapter — was chartered on Feb. 20.

Dayton Unit NAACP president Derrick L. Foward, who helped charter the chapter, said he wants the students to continue the legacy of the school’s namesake and the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

“We want to get inside the school and educate our youth about civil rights,” Foward said. “They are the next leaders in our community.”

The program started with cadets in the school’s JROTC program, said senior Army instructor Claudia Mason. The chapter now has 25 members.

Students said they were interested in joining because they wanted to encourage their peers to work hard in the classroom and because they wanted to learn more about the group’s history.

“I think if the kids and people in my neighborhood knew how important we are and what we actually bring to the table, they would take things more seriously,” said Jason Slaughter, an 18-year-old senior.

“I want to learn about how my ancestors were able to survive those times and progress,” said Lamar Maye, a 16-year-old junior.

Foward said he wants to create more chapters at other high schools in the area.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was founded in 1909, has more than 700 chapters in its youth council, according to the organization’s website.

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