10/03/05 — Minister seeks top N.C. spot at NAACP

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Minister seeks top N.C. spot at NAACP

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 3, 2005 1:50 PM

Greenleaf Christian Church will host a Community Prayer and Worship Service tonight at 7 in support of the Rev. William Barber's candidacy for the presidency of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.

Barber, 42, an honors graduate of North Carolina Central University and dean's scholar at Duke Divinity School, said he decided to run for the post after being encouraged by supporters from across the state.

Barber said he believes the state NAACP is in trouble, and needs to resolve many issues plaguing the state's civil rights movement.

"I am deeply concerned about the state of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP, especially about the number of inactive branches across the state," said Rev. Barber.

Barber said civil rights and social justice are not only of concern to blacks but to people of all races.

"Civil right are not just black issues, but they are American issues, constitutional issues," he said. "For example, affirmative action has helped not only African-Americans but also white women and other minorities in major ways."

Barber said young people are a vital part of the NAACP and without proper education on the organization's history and the issues it faces, they will lose interest in becoming active participants.

"Youth involvement in the civil rights movement began right here in this state at Shaw University," he said. "And so we need to make sure that the youth understand the legacy of the NAACP, the challenges we continue to face in the area of civil rights and social justice and their responsibility to pick up the torch and carry the legacy."

During his time as a minister, Barber has served on several local and national committees. He was appointed executive director of the North Carolina Human Relations Commission by former Governor James Hunt, and has served on two college board of trustees.

Barber has also served as State Political Action Chair of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP. Currently,he serves as a member of the Executive Board for the Goldsboro/Wayne County branch of the NAACP.

Barber is running against Melvin "Skip" Alston in the election, which will take place Saturday at the NAACP State Convention in Greensboro. Delegates from all active chapters in the state will vote.