Civil Rights icon elected to lead Shreveport NAACP Chapter

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Shreveport NAACP is under new leadership following an election Saturday.

The Rev. H. Calvin Austin III was elected president of the organization, defeating opponents Michael Lafitte, and Pastor Linus Mays. Austin replaces the late Lloyd Thompson, who died in April after serving as the organization’s leader for more than a decade.

Bobby Madison, who was vice president at the time of Thompson’s death, assumed the position, but at the time said he wasn’t interested in being the permanent replacement.

Austin, pastor of Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, is a Shreveport native who joined the NAACP in high school and has a long and illustrious involvement in the Civil Rights movement, not only in Shreveport and Louisiana, but across the America.

Austin said his goal is to bring more awareness of the local NAACP to the community and to get the younger generation more involved in the Chapter.

“The bottom line it’s not about the position of president, it’s about the organization, it’s about the message of the NAACP, the message is economics, equal rights, and a fair legal system.”

Other officers who defeated opponents are: Dr. Montrell Whitaker, first vice president; Allison Washington, secretary; and Reginald Johnson, treasurer.

Officers elected without opposition are; Barbara Smith-Iverson, second vice-president; Marvin T. Muhammad third vice-president, Lucinda Thornton assistant secretary;  Alvin Oliver, assistant treasurer; and Lisa Trenell Tomkies, parliamentarian.

Members of the Executive Committee, all of whom were elected without opposition include James Pannell, Lois Abner, Rhonda Phillips, Bessie Vallett, Michael Williams, Ryan Williams, Caitlin Douglas, Darryl Gates, Gloria Prelow, Rickey Taylor, Margie Farrell and Vanessa Leggett.

Installation ceremony is scheduled for January 2021.

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