At the meet and greet, the organization will share opportunities for students to get involved in the NAACP’s ongoing community service efforts.
Though the group was active in the community for years, the summer 2020 protests related to the death of George Floyd reenergized the organization, according to the group’s treasurer and interim secretary Emily Vermillion.
“They had a strong, strong presence a while before ,” said Vermillion, who also works at Denison’s Alford Community for Leadership and Involvement Center. “Some folks in Licking County really decided, ‘you know what, it’s time to bring it back and do the work and bring this work to Licking County,’ which is largely predominantly white.”
Vermillion, born and raised in Heath, has worked at the local NAACP since 2021 after her tenure at the Licking County League of Women Voters, and has helped organize voter registration and voter rights drives around the county.
Today, the organization hosts service and educational events, including their annual Women of Power event each spring, back-to-school drives and community conversations on Black joy and resilience, mental health and local industry.
“We have wonderful members and a very supportive community,” Vermillion said. “We have about 70 members that are active members, meaning they’re updated on their dues. And what you will find is those 70 members are often in other community spaces and community organizations that support rights for all people and access and human rights.”
Despite all of their work, Vermillion said there’s always more to do.
“We have done quite a lot of things that I find meaningful,” she said. “Obviously there’s way more work to do, and certainly, we want to increase membership and just raise awareness.”
Part of that work, she said, is reaching out to community organizations and groups like Denison University to increase inclusion, promote diversity and create equity.
“What better org could we connect with that promotes [Inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism] work than the NAACP?” Vermillion asked.
The event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 in the Curtis Provost’s Dining Room on Denison’s campus.