A small group of people gathered at the steps of the Liberty County Justice Center Jan. 16, as the Liberty County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) installed their new officers.
Newly elected Liberty Branch President Eric Hollis said hosting the installation ceremony in an open format was important.
“The reason this moment is significant is because it gives the community the opportunity to see the officers and let the citizens of this community know who they can call on,” he said. “These officers have been charged to follow our by-laws and to support and defend equality and justice for everyone in Liberty County.”
County Commissioner Gary Gilliard addressed the people saying the NAACP was the nation’s premiere Civil Rights Organization.
According to naacp.org, the NAACP was formed in 1909 and is the largest Civil Rights Organization in the nation with 2,200 chapters across the United States, along with well over 2 million activists.
Hollis said the role of the NAACP is to fight for equality and to fight for justice of anyone who has been discriminated against regardless of their color, regardless of their background and regardless of who they are.
“Our role is to bridge the gap between right and wrong, justice and injustice,” Hollis said. “In the world that we live in today the NAACP cannot be more significant in bridging that gap.”
Hollis is a native from Florida who said the NAACP was in his blood. He said his grandmother was President of one of the NAACP Chapters in Florida. Hollis lived in Virginia for some time where he became a member of the local NAACP chapter. Later while in Maryland he headed the NAACP’s youth program.
After serving in the military for 25 years, Hollis retired and moved to Hinesville where he took over the youth program at Fort Stewart and was the Vice-President at the Liberty Branch.
“Liberty County is my home,” Hollis said. “It is a great place to live and a great place to raise my children and I am proud to call myself a Liberty County citizen.”
Hollis said if they receive a complaint of discrimination, they gather all the pertinent data from the victim and the alleged perpetrator. The data is reviewed by their legal team to find a reasonable outcomes and solutions to the complaint.
Attending the ceremony was Midway native and State Representative Al-Williams who said he was proud to be able to say he’s been a member of the NAACP for 60 years.
“I’m optimistic about this New Year and the NAACP. It has stood many tests…stay focused,” Williams said.