DANVILLE — Local and state officials with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are helping a group of local residents revive a chapter in Danville by organizing a rally and membership drive this week.
A chapter has been active in Danville in the past but is not currently and has not been for at least two years, according to members of an informal group calling themselves Danville Concern Citizens. The group encourages anyone interested in the revival of this chapter to attend the upcoming rally and membership drive at 7 p.m. Thursday at Allen Chapel AME Church, 503 N. Jackson St., Danville.
Danville Alderman Kevin Davis, Ward 1, is involved in the effort. He said the revived local chapter will not be exclusive to African-Americans, but he and another member of the Danville Concern Citizens declined further comment, because the group is not yet formed and leadership not yet selected.
With the assistance of Patricia Avery, president of the Champaign County NAACP, members of Danville Concern Citizens have been planning the organizational rally and membership drive. The theme for the event will be "Still Standing, Standing Strong and Unity together." The Illinois NAACP President George Mitchell and Avery will be the special guests for the rally and membership drive.
According to a news release from the group, "there have been issues and situations (in Danville) that were in need of support from an organization with the caliber of recognition given to the NAACP Organization; since the organization is highly recognized for its services, we, as concern citizens, believe that a local branch of the NAACP is a great need for the Danville Community."
David Groves, former president of the Danville school board and former president of the previous local chapter of the NAACP, said reviving the local chapter would be great. He said there are always some issues and concerns in the community that a chapter could address.
He said those issues and concerns are not always about fighting discrimination, but concerns with dropout rates, for example, or mentoring youths. Groves said he would be interested in getting involved again if the chapter is looking at "real, total concerns of the community."