Alcorn Chapter of the NAACP helps with the grand opening of The Lumumba Center in Jackson, Miss.

Alcorn State University students show that their dedication to helping others is a top priority.

The Alcorn Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) traveled to Jackson, Miss. Friday, Feb. 27 to assist with the grand opening of the Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development, located on 939 W. Capitol Street in Jackson. Alcorn’s NAACP members served by welcoming officials to the event, cooking and conducting sign-in sheet rosters. The Center was built in honor of the life and contributions of former Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who passed away in Feb. 2014.

The Lumumba Center’s primary function will be to host various cooperative development activities of the organization that will include community orientation meetings, general membership meetings, working group meetings and various trainings and skill shares.

Alcorn NAACP chapter president Rodrick Patterson spoke on the importance of supporting up and coming black businesses. He reflected on how black businesses wouldn’t exist without those who fought for equal rights during the civil rights era.

“If we do not support each other, we have no chance to succeed,” said Patterson. “Without the support of those unsung heroes, the civil rights movement would not have been as successful as it was. All Americans are indebted to those individuals who moved this country closer to the ideals that the movement supported.”

Amelia Thompson, a freshman, biochemistry major who’s a member of the chapter, felt honored to participate in the grand opening of the Lumumba Center. The trip exposed her to Lumumba’s memorable legacy in Jackson, Miss.

“I was given the opportunity to network and fellowship with so many amazing people,” said Thompson. “Being that I am an out-of-state student, I didn’t really know much about Mayor Lumumba. Being apart of the opening of the center was not only very educational, but also gave me a sense of appreciation for who Mayor Lumumba was and all of the contributions he made to the City of Jackson.”

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