MERRIMACK VALLEY BRANCH
President: Joseph DeVoe, Jr.
We are the Merrimack Valley Branch of the NAACP. The NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and oldest national civil rights organization, organized in 1909.
In 1916, a group of Lowell citizens allied themselves with the Boston Branch of the NAACP to form a Lowell Branch, which was organized by Harold M. Wingood, President. After WWI, the Lowell Branch was suspended. In 1946, another committee composed of Harold Wingood, Samuel Crayton Sr., James H .Ward, Rev. Julius Mitchell and Rev. Robert Smith to name a few, was formed.
After several successful organizational meetings at Third Baptist Church in Lawrence, MA, they applied for and were issued a charter for the Merrimack Valley Branch of the NAACP. The charter included Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill and adjacent towns. It was effective on October 14, 1946. The first President was Samuel Crayton Sr. In 1947, due to a technicality the Branch has to be reorganized and Everette Lawrence was elected the next President.
The first fully paid life member of the Branch was Thomas J. Whitting. In September 1970, students from Lowell State College were granted $6200 in financial aid. In 1978, a suit was filed with the US Department of Revenue against the cities of Lowell and Lawrence, alleging racial discrimination in city employment. The complaint was resolved in 1981 in favor of the Branch. In 1984, the Branch recorded the largest Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.
Joseph Devoe, President
Lisa Riddick, First Vice President
Samuel (Polo) Pierre, Second Vice President
Yonnie Collins, Secretary
Angie Thomas, Treasurer
· Joseph Devoe, Jan. 2017 to present
· Vincent Tyler, June 2016 to Dec 2016
· Lisa D. Riddick, Jan. 2015 to June 2016
· Aston G. Moore, Jan. 2013 to Dec. 2014
· The Rev. Roger A. Sawtelle, Jan. 2007 to Dec. 2012
· Erik Shaw, Jan. 2005 to Dec. 2006
· Lisa D. Riddick, Jan. 2000 to Dec 2004
· Katie Tyler, Jan. 1997 to Dec. 1999
· Thomas Johnson, Jan. 1990 to Dec 1996
· June Miles Gonsalves, Esq., Jan. 1985 to Dec. 1989
· The Rev. Roger Sawtelle, Nov. 1983 to Dec. 1984
· Robert McKinley, Jan. 1983 to Nov. 1983 (Resigned)
· Cleotha Jackson, Sept. 1979 to Dec. 1982
· Herbert Brown, Jan. 1977 to Sept. 1979 (Resigned)
· Bennie Armstrong, Jan. 1975 to Dec. 1976