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Second candidate announces for N.C. NAACP Presidency

Staff Reports / July 15, 2017

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Rev. Dr. Portia W. Rochelle

Rev. Dr. Portia W. Rochelle

Now that N.C. NAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber will stay on until the October conference elections, the picture is beginning to become clearer as to who is vying to succeed him.

Rev. Dr. Portia W. Rochelle, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP Chapter, announced in a July 7 campaign letter that she is now a candidate for the post, joining Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman of Greensboro, the only other announced candidate.

“…I am a hard worker, community leader, NAACP laborer, a mother, and a G’ma (grandmother),” Rev. Rochelle wrote. “It is my belief that if we are truly sold out to fighting for justice we must see ourselves as stakeholders,” she continued. “Stakeholders not only have a passion to succeed but must become risk takers. They take action/risks for the betterment of the movement.”

“Please consider me to lead the mighty N.C. NAACP. I look forward to working with you as a stakeholder in this movement.”

Under the theme, “Stakeholders are risk takers!” Rev. Rochelle calls herself “…a servant to all…” and “…a warrior in His great name not mine.”
“I must bear fruit, fruit that will lead, and teach others”

As NC NAACP president, Rev. Rochelle vows to represent “…those who deal with social injustices… those that don’t know how to fight for their rights and those that fight and need help.”

If elected in October, Rochelle says she would build up local and regional branches, and get churches more involved to promote social justice ministries. Rev. Rochelle also promised that the NAACP under her leadership would continue to “hit the streets” with marches and demonstrations “…to bring attention to egregious policies and injustices.”

She also wants to “Build a millennium coalition,” wanting to make the civil rights organization “relevant” to those who are “…angry, confused, and don’t know which social justice organization to join.”

Rev. Rochelle is a native of Fuquay-Varina, and has served as president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP for the past nine years. She has also been in the ministry for 20 years, receiving her Master of Divinity Degree from Shaw University Divinity School in 2002. During her study at Shaw, she received numerous scholarships and awards.

She received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Drew University in 2012.

Besides Rev. Rochelle, others in the top leadership of the N.C. NAACP are expected to throw their hats into the October elections to succeed Rev. Barber, who will step down then after 12 years at the helm to join the national Poor People’s Campaign.

Rev. Barber was expected to give his endorsement for successor originally after he announced he was “transitioning” from N.C. NAACP leadership in May, but then postponed that intention after he was asked to stay on a while longer, and agreed.




Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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