NAACP Gala celebrates semester accomplishments

At the Alumni Center last Thursday, the Southeastern Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  came together to celebrate another successful semester and to wish a warm farewell to NAACP president Shawndreka Gatlin.
 Gatlin has officially passed her duties on to the new NAACP president, Ashton Toefield.
Gatlin will be among the 1,200 graduates to walk across the stage in the University Center Saturday, May 18. The experiences from her time with the NAACP have molded her into the individual she is today and has taught her “responsibility, dedication and adaptability.”
“My fondest memories as president would have to be getting to know the members at all of the socials and lock-ins,” Gatlin said, who will be receiving her degree in fashion merchandising. “It’s interesting to learn about other people’s goals and dreams, and to seek opportunities to assist them in achieving what they would like to do, both on campus and in their careers.”
The NAACP Man of the Year award went to Lamar Hebert and the Woman of the Year award went to Kiara Moore, a junior fashion design and marketing major. The Ladies of Green and Gold and the National Society of Leadership and Success were recognized with the Image Award for their hard work at keeping the image of Southeastern and the NAACP strong and wholesome.
The organization did not just single out certain members for awards, but they also noted 18 students with Rising Star awards, and 16 members for being paid and active members with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Guests dined on baked chicken and jambalaya. Past NAACP presidents were in attendance and so were members of various NAACP chapters, including sociology instructor Dr. Rebecca Hensley, who is a member of the Greater Tangipahoa Parish Branch of the NAACP.
NAACP’s tradition of community service is what gives the organization their good reputation, and guest speaker Tiffany Crawford gave some encouraging words to the audience to continue that tradition. Crawford is involved in many community service outreach organizations around the country, one in New Orleans East. Her powerful, uplifting tone had the room frequently responding with “yes” and “amen.” Her overriding message was simple: as a human being, we all have a job to reach out to the community and create social change.
“It’s one thing to identify a problem, but it’s another thing to try and eradicate a problem,” Crawford said. “The longer I live, the more meetings I attend, the more young people I encounter and the more I look at the news, [the more] I understand that we all have a job to do.”

This story was updated on Wednesday, May 15 to reflect changes in the headline and cutline of the name of the organization.