National NAACP approves UMass Dartmouth chapter


Student-led organization will collaborate with New Bedford NAACP Branch and New
Bedford NAACP Youth Council. All three units meet tonight for the first time

The Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People approved the charter of a new student-led UMass Dartmouth Chapter of the
NAACP.  The approval in February marks the first time a college chapter of the NAACP
has been chartered at the UMass Dartmouth campus. The UMass Dartmouth chapter is one
of just a few in New England.

The UMass Dartmouth NAACP Chapter will host the New Bedford Branch NAACP's monthly
meeting at UMass Dartmouth tonight (Thursday, April 20) at 7 p.m. at the Foster
Administration Building on campus.  The New Bedford NAACP Youth Council will also
attend.  This meeting, which will be preceded by a reception, will provide an
opportunity for members of all three units to meet one another, discuss social
justice issues, and plan future NAACP events.

The objectives of NAACP college chapters, as prescribed in the Bylaws of the NAACP
Constitution are " keep the public aware of the adverse effects of
discrimination; inform students of the problems affecting African-Americans and
other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and
political status of African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and
their harmonious cooperation with other peoples;...and to develop effective

The UMass Dartmouth NAACP Chapter will collaborate with the New Bedford Branch NAACP
and the New Bedford NAACP Youth Council in conducting civil rights advocacy work in
the area.

The formation of the UMass Dartmouth Chapter had its roots in the visit of NAACP
Chair Roslyn Brock to the region in May 2016 for the university's commencement
exercises. On the eve of her commencement speech, the New Bedford Branch of the
NAACP hosted an open reception for her in the downtown New Bedford Public Library. 
Several UMass Dartmouth students attended and were inspired by her remarks and
motivated to respond to her challenge to organize.  Upon return to campus, those
students resolved to form a NAACP college chapter at UMass Dartmouth.

After several months of organizing and securing the minimum number of membership
recruits (25) with the assistance of UMass Dartmouth staff members LaSella Hall,
Peggy Dias, and David Gomes, and with critical support from Sr. Vice Chancellor
Gerry Kavanaugh, the students submitted a formal application for charter in January
of 2017.

Upon approval of the charter, election of officers for the Chapter was ratified with
Emike Momodu as President; Shamiah Cheeks, Vice President; Ayden Holliday,
Secretary; and Myles Dias, Treasurer.

The Chapter has already undertaken several activities including hosting an
informational mixer; organizing a voter registration drive; planning and
participating in Black History Month events; presenting a gospel choir performance;
and holding bi-weekly meetings to establish an agenda for its civil rights advocacy

Bruce Rose, President of the New Bedford Branch NAACP applauded the organizers of
the effort to establish a UMass Dartmouth Chapter for their persistent work and
dedication. He stated that he looked forward to "working with the Chapter in
carrying out our mutual objectives of ensuring equality of rights of all persons and
combatting racial discrimination."