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Fayetteville NAACP branch to host organization’s state convention this weekend

Awards to honor Congressman Butterfield, Police Chief Hawkins

Fayetteville will be the site of the state NAACP convention this weekend.
Fayetteville will be the site of the state NAACP convention this weekend.
Fayetteville NAACP

The Fayetteville Branch of the NAACP will host the 79th state convention of the civil rights organization this weekend, according to a news release.

The convention will be Friday and Saturday at the Bordeaux Convention Center on Owen Drive.

Deborah Dicks Maxwell, president of the NAACP State Conference, said the theme of the convention is “Refocus, Reset and Revive: Building Power and Moving Forward,” according to the news release.

The convention will conclude at 6 p.m. Saturday with the Freedom Fund awards reception. The State Conference will recognize retiring U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield with a Lifetime Achievement award. Butterfield has represented North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District since 2004 and is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins, the first minority woman to serve in that position, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Fayetteville Branch, the release said. Hawkins plans to retire in January.

The public is invited to attend the Freedom Fund awards reception. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the venue with cash only payment, the release said.

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Fayetteville hosted the NAACP State Convention in 2014. Da’Quan Marcell Love, the executive director of the state NAACP, said the city was chosen to host this year because of its diversity.

“Moreover, it is a city that is on the move and growing,” Love said.

He praised the “phenomenal work” of Fayetteville branch President James Buxton and other members, the release said.

This will be the first statewide NAACP convention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Love said, noting that it also comes as the Nov. 8 midterm elections approach.

“It is a challenge simply because of the fact that all of our units right now are doing the important civil rights work of getting voters out to the polls, making sure Black voters are able to get to the polls for early voting, absentee, etc.,” Love said, according to the news release. “This is a very busy time for us at the NAACP.”

Love said the organization invited both Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd, the leading candidates for the U.S. Senate representing North Carolina, to address convention delegates. Neither had responded as of Tuesday, the news release said.

For more information on the convention, call the Fayetteville Branch office at 910-824-7504.

Fayetteville, NAACP, politics, G.K. Butterfield, Gina Hawkins