The Statesville Branch NAACP celebrated its 90th Anniversary Freedom Fund and Awards Banquet at the Statesville Civic Center on Sunday evening. The event, which attracted more than 275 people, featured a catered meal, a live performance, and a keynote speech by Dr. Anthony J. Davis, the president of Livingstone College.

Dorothy Woodard, a Diamond Life Member of the NAACP, introduced Davis, highlighting his accomplishments. “In less than 600 days as president, Dr. Davis created ‘The Miracle on Monroe Street,’ a $23 million campus renovation project,” Woodard remarked.

Anthony Davis, president of Livingstone College

In his speech, Davis shared the achievements of Livingstone College, including a fundraising effort that garnered $17 million. He urged attendees to support private HBCU, which is located in Salisbury, calling them to “give, get, and gather” to continue supporting the school’s success.

Davis also encouraged the crowd to get involved in the life-changing mission of the civil rights organization.

“If service is beneath you, then leadership should be beyond you,” he said, describing the NAACP as “the largest and the oldest, the baddest and the boldest, the most loved, most hated, most cussed and discussed civil rights organization” in the U.S.

Davis reflected on the rich history of the NAACP, acknowledging the tireless efforts needed to achieve today’s successes. He honored founders such as W.E.B. DuBois and Ida Wells-Barnett for their pivotal roles in establishing the esteemed organization.

Despite decades of progress, Davis stressed that there are many ongoing challenges faced by African- Americans today, and the NAACP has a vital role to play.

Quoting Kendrick Lamar’s song “Alright,” Davis encouraged attendees to “stay in the fight” and declared, “We have come too far to turn back now.”


Todd Scott, president of the Statesville Branch NAACP, and Marlene B. Scott, assistant secretary, presented $1,500 scholarships to local students Devin Clarke, Me’Cala Holland, and Tayshon Harris, who plan to attend North Carolina A&T State University, Appalachian State University, and North Carolina State University, respectively. 

Todd Scott also presented three other awards to NAACP members demonstrating exceptional dedication and service:

♦ The Woody Woodard “Stick and Stay” Award was presented to Amelia Imes;
♦ The Wilson W. Lee “You Can Make A Difference” Award was presented to Leon Ijames; and
♦The Life Membership Plaque was presented to Amari Grady.