Muncie’s NAACP branch continues its fight for a diverse future

Muncie Branch #3063 NAACP Youth Council Advisory Board poses for a photo after a roundtable discussion on gun violence awareness  Jan. 24 inside the YWCA. George Foley Jr., Photo Provided
Muncie Branch #3063 NAACP Youth Council Advisory Board poses for a photo after a roundtable discussion on gun violence awareness Jan. 24 inside the YWCA. George Foley Jr., Photo Provided

Muncie’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Branch #3063, is continuing to move forward on a path that celebrates diversity.

Branch President George Foley Jr. has been a member since 2015, doing avid marketing for the organization while working closely with the community as the program director for the Muncie Parks Department. 

The two leadership roles have provided him with greater community outreach.

Foley stepped into the role of branch president in November 2023 when the previous branch president, Joseph Anderson, accepted a job offer out of the state. 

“I wanted to improve what the NAACP stands for and what we do,” Foley said.

Foley said he understands the organization is often thought of as being for African Americans only — a myth he wants to dispel. He cited the organization’s mission statement, directed toward fighting against discrimination cases.

“The NAACP is for anybody,” he said. “Discrimination can come in any force. We're here [for] both civil rights and social injustice.”

Right now, the branch has 15 members who meet via Zoom at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month. The routine has been the same since the COVID-19 pandemic, although Foley said the organization is hoping to meet in person again by the spring.

In part to encourage both new and lasting members, the branch organization has established a youth council where members frequently create community partnerships. 

In this relationship, they’re hoping to hone in on gun violence awareness and initiate conversations with Muncie’s Police Department. 

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Muncie NAACP Youth Council during their Muhammad Ali Center Trip. Tailored Technology, Graphic Provided

Muncie Central High School junior Jamar Clark, president of Muncie’s NAACP Youth Council, is involved in many school extracurriculars but views his community role as the one with utmost importance. 

The NAACP Youth Council is another resource he considers to be beneficial to his upbringing and useful to his social development.

Clark said roundtable events with the local police department are a huge opportunity for the members of the Youth Council to be heard and say what they want to say. He said this importance lies in the fact that youth voices are multiplying but still not always heard.

Although a bigger relationship is being established between the branch and its Youth Council, the council is very much independent and is equipped with its own board of officers. The 25 council members meet the second Monday of each month at the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Foley said.

Clark said his favorite part of the presidential role is helping inform the public about the council, persuading them to join, as the NAACP is not widely known. On the national scale, the NAACP has been around for 115 years. 

“The future of our democracy lies in America's forgotten corners. That's why the NAACP is working hard to recruit 300K volunteers across the country ahead of the 2024 presidential election,” President and CEO of NAACP Derrick Johnson said on the organization’s national website

Muncie’s branch of the national organization was established in November 1947 by Smith Thompson Jr., said Foley. In years since, the branch credits a variety of pivotal events responsible for its community impact. 

In 2018, the branch hosted a seminar of 600 people in attendance — along with two corporate sponsors, AEP and Meridian Health Services — to listen to speaker Ron Stallworth.

Stallworth is a retired police officer famous for infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan and later serving as the inspiration behind Spike Lee’s 2018 film, “BlacKkKlansman.” 

The success of the seminar was an instrumental step in the branch’s revival. 

“We tried to get the whole city exposed and invite as many people as we [could] to find out what the NAACP [was],”  Foley said. “But despite being asked to host the event the following year, we declined because it was so much work… We had [to] change the focus of the state conference.”

Since then, he has remained adamant that the branch’s main focus is to increase membership rates and do all that is possible on the local front, including hosting an annual Freedom Fund Banquet. 

The branch’s meetings are also a hot-ticket event for keynote speakers like national education consultant Robert Jackson and Rashid Shabazz, a Chicago-based educator and Muncie native. 

Education of youth remains a top priority of Muncie’s NAACP. The group fundraises for charity, gives away school supplies in the fall and encourages young people to vote. 

“We've done some voter registration events where we're encouraging people of color to register to vote. We've done scholarships for people coming out of high school to college and continuing college students at Ivy Tech and Ball State,” Foley said. 

For Clark, the fact that he is able to lead Muncie’s NAACP Youth Council empowers him to “change the Black community one step at a time.”

Adult memberships for Muncie’s NAACP start at $30. Youth memberships (ages 5-18) are $10. Both are valid for one year and are renewable. 

Those interested in joining can contact for a membership application or head to their website for more information. 

Contact Katherine Hill with comments at .


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