The Sebastian County NAACP creates a youth council designed to involve children in the fight for civil rights.
Olan James, president of the Sebastian County NAACP, sees the effort as a way to train the next generation of activists. He said the move was particularly important after the social unrest following the murder of George Floyd – a time when many young people became active in the protests.
“It’s a new business. We want to involve young people in the NAACP,” James said.
The advice will be aimed at people aged 20 or under and is aimed specifically at school-aged children.
Sisters Xenia, Xantai and Xytaria Miller are all interested in joining the NAACP Youth Council.
“I was interested in it first because it could really help people of color and love the community,” said 14-year-old Xenia Miller.
The three sisters said they have all experienced racism and hope the NAACP will make a difference.
“It’s 2022. I don’t think racism against black people should exist,” said Xenia Miller.
Xytaria Miller, 12, hopes the youth council will bring more awareness to the NAACP.
“I really hope this makes a big difference,” Xytaria Miller said.
The youth council will meet monthly and will also be active in community events and service opportunities.
“So the NAACP is a platform for young people who want to get involved in civil rights and learn more,” James said.
James said the NAACP is a good place for kids who want to be active in bringing about change in their communities but may not know how to do it.
The NAACP is the nation’s oldest civil rights group and the organization is dedicated to achieving equity for black Americans.
The Sebastian County Youth Council will hold its first meeting at 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Mount Zion CME Church, 910 N 7th Street. James encourages anyone interested in the group to attend.
Capt. Wendall Sampson, an officer with the Fort Smith Police Department, will speak at the event. James said Sampson will talk about career paths with the police department and also talk about how to interact with officers in their daily lives.
Alex Gladden graduated from the University of Arkansas. She previously worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and The Jonesboro Sun before joining The Times Record. She can be contacted at [email protected]