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Wake Up Macon





Macon Chapter NAACP Has New President






By Amanda Smith


Macon businessman and ranking NAACP officer Al Tillman became the new President of the Macon Chapter of the NAACP, effective December 20, 2007.  Tillman is a booking agent and the owner of Teeger Entertainment, bringing professional comedy acts to the city of Macon.  Former NAACP President Cartese Dillard resigned from her position on December 19, 2007.


In an open letter to the Macon-Bibb NAACP entitled Silence is not an option, Tillman described four goals he would like to see achieved during his tenure as president.  In addition to eliminating racism and discrimination, always a goal of the NAACP, he would also like to become more pro-active in the Macon community, increase memberships and donations, and locate a permanent home and meeting place for the Macon Chapter.


Becoming more pro-active in the community has been an issue with the NAACP, not just at the local level, but the national one as well.  Last year, the resignation of national President and CEO Bruce Gordon after just 19 months in office created a national debate over the direction that the organization should be taking in the years to come.  Gordon attempts to modernize the organization met with fierce opposition from Board Chairman Julian Bond and others who felt that the original mission of the NAACP is still relevant today.


Tubman Museum Director of Education and former City Council President Anita Ponder considers Tillman’s appointment to the position of chapter president as positive for the organization.  “Al will bring the kind of enthusiasm and innovation that the NAACP needs for the 21st century,” she said.  “The organization is trying to find its voice and that requires an open-mind and new ideas to accomplish this goal.  Al brings that to the table.”


Tillman would like to work on the issues of black-on-black crime, domestic violence, and the large number of homeless and drug-addicted African Americans on the streets of Macon.  "The issue of the homeless and addicted needs to be brought to the light," said Tillman.  "I want to hold community listening events to raise these local issues and partner churches and other agencies to address them in a way that will bring about the betterment of all people in Macon."


Rev. Rhett Baird, pastor of High Street Unitarian Universalist Church in Macon has been a member of the NAACP for 15 years and has worked with Al Tillman on the Executive Committee of the organization for many years.  “I am very pleased with Al’s appointment,” he said.  “He’s a good and honorable man, committed to the NAACP and Macon.  This will be very good for the city.”


The next scheduled meeting will be held on January 22, 2008 at 7pm at the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church at 1085 High Street in Macon, Georgia.





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