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State NAACP chief to pump up local chapter
0715 Francys Johnson 1
Francys Johnson

Statesboro’s Francys Johnson has been on a mission since being elected president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP in October.

Johnson has led a statewide revitalization campaign that has launched 30 new or dormant chapters of the civil and human rights organization.

Effingham County is next.

“The Effingham County branch has been dormant for too long,” Johnson said. “Parades and award ceremonies have their place, but the NAACP must be focused on issues that affect all Georgians now — maintaining an unfettered access to the ballot box, battling for a fair criminal justice system, improving the status of the education system and finding ways to ensure a robust and diverse economy.”

Johnson will speak at a meeting of the Effingham NAACP on Thursday at 7 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Missionary Baptist Church. The church is at 218 Wallace Drive in Springfield.

“I am going to Effingham to urge the citizens to come up with new solutions to some of our old problems and work with anyone committed to making America a more perfect union,” Johnson said. “We must consider the struggle and sacrifice of those great men and women who have come before us because, if we fail to secure the blessing of liberty, our children will ask us how we squandered so great an inheritance.”

The meeting is open to the public. In addition to Johnson’s speech, the Effingham branch will install new officers.

Also, the Effingham NAACP will start meeting each month, according to member Lucy Powell. For more information, call Powell at 675-2117 or 772-3515.

“We just want Effingham County to know the NAACP is alive and well,” she said. “We’re asking for representatives from all over the county.”

Johnson is an attorney based in Statesboro. He also is senior minister at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Pembroke and Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church in Statesboro.

Johnson has been involved with the NAACP for more than 25 years, after joining the group while he was a student. He served as an attorney for the organization after completing law school, and later was appointed as regional director to manage NAACP operations for seven Southern states.

A misconception about the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, according to Johnson, is that it deals only in black and white issues.

“We deal in red, white and blue issues — American issues,” he said. “Our real work is to make sure that the Constitution and laws of these United States are equitably applied to every citizen — to make real the promise of America’s democracy. The issues that I’m focused on are issues that all Georgians should be concerned about.”