Rachelle Jackson, 1st Vice President of Vallejo’s NAACP Branch, literally “talks-the-talk and will walk-the-walk”, literally, when she and hundreds of other Vallejo residents participate in the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March on Jan. 20, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.
The event, to be followed by a program at Hogan Middle School, 850 Rosewood Dr., Vallejo, at 10:30 a.m., is sponsored by the NAACP’s Vallejo Branch, the City of Vallejo, Valero Oil Refinery, the Vallejo Times Herald and the Vallejo Unified School District.
“This is the 32nd year that we’ve held this event,” said Jackson. “It’s an awareness event, while also one that honors the achievements of Dr. King, as well as bringing our communities together. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring different groups together throughout the region.
“Since our first event when nearly 100 participants attended, we’ve grown larger every year,” Jackson continued. “We anticipate upwards of 500 individuals to gather together this year. However, that will depend on the weather. If we have discouraging weather, we will immediately proceed with our program without the march.”
Jimmie Jackson, president of the NAACP Vallejo Branch, noted that it’s all about unification.
“This is what Dr. King’s message was all about, bringing people together rather than having them wander apart,” Jackson said.
“Our program will include comments by city, county and state officials, including City Councilmember Hakeem Brown and congressional representative, Mike Thompson,” said Jackson. “Our keynote speaker will be Bishop Kevin Barnes from Abyssinian Baptist Church and the program will feature performances by Vallejo youth, a community gospel choir and an activity by Vallejo’s local fraternities.”
The Vallejo Branch continues to coordinate activities in the community. The Branch recently received the prestigious Dr. H. Claude Hudson Award at the 32nd Annual California-Hawaii NAACP State Convention in Los Angeles.
“The Dr. H. Claude Hudson Award has been around for 20 years,” Jackson said. “It honors Hudson, former president of the Los Angeles NAACP branch from 1924-1934. He was a prominent businessman and advocate for civil rights.”
Hudson’s early work with the Los Angeles NAACP helped to inspire other branches to realize that with hard work, “you can get stuff done. It’s a matter of working with the community and not against the community,” Jackson said. Hudson died in 1989 at age 102.
“Never has the Vallejo branch of the NAACP taken home an honor as the ‘most efficient and proficient’ branch at its annual ceremony. We were in competition with all the branches in California and Hawaii, and Vallejo won in the “medium” category for branches with memberships between 100 and 500 people.”
Jackson pointed out that Vallejo was up against 42 other medium-sized branches, believing the local branch earned the honor for being “most efficient … having ongoing programs. “We try to do what we do,” said Mr. Jackson. “We’re usually having some big event every four months.”
“It’s good, professional competition,” he added. “It shows how creative we can be as far as getting the work done that needs to be done in the communit. We are a community-based organization that believes in trying to bring the community together.”
The NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
For more information on Vallejo’s NAACP Branch and its programs, call 707-554-4993.