When Tabitha Howard, a TWU student wanted stronger representation for African American students on campus she worked tirelessly, recruiting friends and classmates and filling out paperwork to charter a NAACP chapter on campus.
In October of 2013 Howard ensured TWU’s first chapter of the NAACP was created. Today President Jazmine Beadle, the last original member from 2013 and Vice President Nicole Douglas led the organization.
Beadle, a Senior Education student said: “[Tabitha] reached out to a lot of people. We all had that same mind set and same goal of having the African American student body widely represented on the TWU campus and we all wanted to join in and support her.”
Beadle explained that the NAACP is a service-hearted organization that gives back to the community. In the last few years, the NAACP has volunteered with the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, Keep Denton Beautiful and helped coordinate TWU’s involvement in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The NAACP has also worked with the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Outreach in the past to plan Black History Month events on campus, including the Soul Food Dinner, Wake up Everybody breakfast event, hosting Trent Shelton as a speaker in 2016 and more.
Beadle said: “Right now we are reaching out to students and seeing how we can relate to them, and bring more things to campus that students are actually looking for. I feel like when people hear NAACP they only think about politics and rallying and marching, but there is so much more that the NAACP has and that we can offer.”
Douglas, a Graduate Government and Politics student joined the NAACP in 2014 and served as the political activist chair before becoming the Vice President. In her role as political activist chair Douglas has traveled between Denton and Washington D.C. to coordinate with the NAACP’s national offices and bring information back to TWU’s chapter. Her involvement has allowed TWU’s chapter to arrange meetings to lead discussions about current social and cultural issues with TWU students.
Douglas said: “We talk about elections, we talk about bills, we talk about campus carry which was a big deal and a lot of students here aren’t happy with it, but the bill passed and we have to deal with it. We talked about this election, the things that former President Obama did and how they affect us. Just topics that students are able to express their thoughts about.”
TWU’s chapter of the NAACP publishes their meeting schedule at the beginning of each semester, their next meeting will take place Wed. Feb. 22 in the Student Union at 5 p.m.
Douglas said: “We don’t want to be in a position where if we have a crisis, that’s the only time students look for us to speak up for them. We want them to know that there are other aspects of this group. Don’t just be that student that reaches out to us when they see something that’s a problem, just get involved, this organization is here in the capacity in which students need us to be here.”