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Albany's NAACP chapter appoints interim leaders

Photo by Jennifer Parks

Photo by Jennifer Parks

ALBANY, Ga. -- In an attempt to clear up confusion and to restructure what is already in place, officials from the Georgia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People paid a visit to Albany for the purpose of updating the public on the Albany-Dougherty chapter's status.

During the visit, at which time officials were surrounded by representatives from chapters throughout Southwest Georgia, the names of the chapter's interim officers were made public at a news conference Tuesday.

"This is not a news conference for or against anybody, but for the NAACP," said NAACP Georgia State Conference President Edward DuBose.

The announcement was made at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in South Albany.

The interim president is Marvin Jones, who has previously held the role of president. The remaining interim officers are David Williams, vice president; the Rev. Rogers Chatmon, second vice president; Tammy Green, secretary; Princella Stegall, treasurer; Katie Couch, assistant secretary, and Mary James-Ingram, assistant treasurer.

"No other group is authorized to act on behalf of the NAACP," DuBose said. "Please be aware that if you are sending donations (to people or places) other than this leadership, it is not sanctioned."

This development comes more than three weeks after the state office cleaned house locally, suspending the memberships of former president William Wright and all other officers at the local chapter.

"Our board of directors made the decision to reorganize some branches, one of which happened to be the Albany-Dougherty branch," DuBose said. "Our national board has made its final decision."

The interim officers will stay in place until such time as an election can be held to determine who the permanent leadership will be, the timeframe of which will be announced at a later date.

"We want to take our time," DuBose said. "At the moment we decide to move forward, (officer positions) will be open to all members in good standing."

The suspension of the former officers stemmed in part due to friction over the state's method of collecting dues. Information obtained by The Albany Herald earlier this month indicates that the local unit owed $2,460 in past-due assessments.

"We are here to make sure we stay within guidelines," NAACP Georgia State Conference District 19 Coordinator Membrish Brown said Tuesday. "We encourage everyone to support these (interim) officers."

After negotiations to reduce the amount of fees owed failed, the Albany chapter sent in a check for $1,000 -- which was deposited and cleared the bank.

The interim president, who has ties to the organization dating back to the 1980s, said he is looking forward to moving things into a positive direction.

"We have had some challenges, but that is not new," said Jones. "I came here because I felt I had something to offer. This (the recent appointment) gives me an opportunity to bring the standards of the NAACP up.

"The load will be heavy, but we will overcome."

Jones added that he is also looking to boost membership at the chapter.

Those wishing to give feedback on these developments are encouraged to call (401) 404-1408.