Civil rights group opens new northern Macomb department

LEFT: Pamela Alexander is the president of NAACP’s Northern Macomb County office. TRUE: Tristam Craig, the first vice president of Northern Macomb County, NAACP, was supportive and thought starting the office was a good idea from the start.


MACOMB COUNTY – On March 14, after many months of organization, petition, and training, and in accordance with all NAACP bylaws, the NAACP branch in northern Macomb County was formally established and ready to serve in local communities.

The office will serve 17 parishes generally north of M-59 in northern Macomb County.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP reported that it has more than 2,200 units and offices nationwide and more than 2 million activists.

On February 23, the NAACP division held a virtual election in northern Macomb County, with NAACP Michigan State Conference President Yvonne White chairing the process.

The 17 locations where the branch will operate are Armada, Armada Township, Bruce Township, Chesterfield Township, Lenox Township, Macomb Township, Memphis, New Baltimore, New Haven Village, Ray Township, Richmond, Richmond Township, Romeo Village, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Utica, and Washington Township.

The events of 2020, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the black communities, led members of the local community to organize marches and form the branch.

Pamela Alexander, president of NAACP’s Northern Macomb County office, said the group had already given a mission for the organization.

“Our mission is to ensure political, educational, social and economic equality in order to eliminate racial discrimination and to ensure the health and well-being of all people. It’s also important to know that the NAACP Northern Macomb County office is very diverse and a non-partisan organization, ”Alexander said via email.

The NAACP Executive Committee for the Northern Macomb County Branch consists of six officers and four members.

The elected officers are: Alexander; Tristam Craig, first vice president; Chantelle Adkins, second vice president; John Tinsley, third vice president; Julie Alward, treasurer; and Shannon Debono, secretary.

The members of the Executive Committee are: Christy Seitz, Emily Mellits, Brandon Foitu and Aaron Krueger.

On March 27, the unit held a virtual installation ceremony with Michigan attorney Saleema Sheikh taking the oaths. Many local and state government officials, law enforcement agencies, school officials, and more received email invitations to the event.

Alexander said the main task of the organization is to fight for people’s rights.

“We organized this branch to meet the needs of all people and their civil and human rights. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909 and has already fought for black rights, ”she said.

Alexander said the group is already getting attention and growing.

“We have over 120 members and receive membership inquiries almost every day,” she said.

The group will work to create a basic organization layout for Macomb County.

The Executive Committee will meet on April 12 for its first session since the installation ceremony.

“We will work together to set the branch agenda for 2021, focusing on: voting rights, voter suppression, political representation, public safety and criminal justice justice for all,” said Alexander.

The meetings of the Executive Committee take place on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. and the General Meetings on the third Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Announcements and updates about the meetings and events are usually posted on Facebook.

“We hope that our website will be up and running shortly and that you can follow us on Twitter,” said Alexander.

Craig said when he first heard about branch formation he thought it was a great idea, and after getting involved he knew it was needed in the Macomb County area.

“At first I supported myself and thought it was a good idea. After engaging in some BLM marches last summer and assisting other marginalized groups in their protest efforts, it became clear that this was a very necessary branch, especially in the North Macomb area, ”he said in an email.

The industry is very diverse.

“It’s more than black and white. This includes and supports different cultural, religious and ethnic groups and includes inclusion of all groups and multiculturalism, ”he said.

“It has a lot to do with building stronger cultural and social relationships within and through all cultural groups and the acceptance of all population groups through inclusion, whereby all people, regardless of our differences, are treated with dignity, acceptance and respect. People can learn that there are more similarities than differences when we give each other opportunities to learn more about each other. We are here to rebuild bridges, not tear them down, and this can only be achieved by finding common ground and working together from there. It’s about effective communication, ”said Craig.

General members and anyone with community connections interested in joining the NAACP Northern Macomb County office are invited to attend general meetings. Until it is deemed safe to discontinue COVID-19 security protocols, all meetings and events at the Northern Macomb County office will be virtual.

For more information, email [email protected] or visit the Twitter page.


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