OAKLAND — The wait to have all of Maryland’s counties represented in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is finally over. A new branch for Garrett County was approved by the NAACP’s national office after more than 100 local residents signed up to be new members.

This is the newest branch in the Maryland State Conference and the last county in the state to be officially chartered.

The mission of the NAACP is to “secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.”

“I am excited to have Garrett County as the newest branch in the NAACP Maryland State Conference. It gives me great pride to know that residents of Garrett County saw it important enough to extend the fight for justice and equality under the banner of the NAACP. I commend the charter members for their hard work,” Willie Flowers, Maryland State Conference NAACP president, said.

The new branch is working on a strategic plan for its activities over the next year and to establish working relationships with community groups and with people interested in working to pursue common goals.

Daphne Gooding is the branch’s president. “We are proud to be part of this well- established organization. The NAACP has been successfully advocating for the rights of people since 1909,” Gooding said.

The NAACP is America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. It was established in February 1909 in New York City by an interracial group of activists, partially in response to the 1908 Springfield race riot in Illinois. The NAACP’s founding members included white progressives Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, William English Walling and Oswald Garrison Villard, along with Blacks W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Archibald Grimke and Mary Church Terrell.

The NAACP is focused on inequality in jobs, education, health care, the criminal justice system and protecting voting rights. To learn more, email contact.gcnaacp@gmail.com.

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