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Cynthia S. Howard,

The Youth Work Committee shall monitor the youth membership in the Branch. 


The NAACP believes strongly that future leaders must be developed today, and such development is ongoing in the Youth & College Division, created in 1936. Today there are more than 25,000 young people, under the age of 25, representing 550 Junior Youth Councils, Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters actively involved in the fight for civil rights. The NAACP has one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country.



The mission of the NAACP Youth & College Division shall be to inform youth of the problems affecting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; to advance the economic, education, social and political status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and their harmonious cooperation with other peoples; to stimulate an appreciation of the African Diaspora and other people of color’s contribution to civilization; and to develop an intelligent, effective youth leadership.



The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth and College Division is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race by developing a New Generation of Civil Rights and Community Leaders. For over 80 years, the NAACP Youth and College Division has been one of the largest organized groups of young people in any secular organization in the country. This Division has grown to have more than 25,000 young people, under the age of 25 actively involved in the fight for civil rights. The NAACP has over 550 Junior Youth Councils.

Youth Council

The following presentation was made at recent Florida NAACP Quarterly Meeting.

2023-2024 Youth Council Leadership

President – Isaiah Samedi

1st Vice President – Ariel Samedi

2nd Vice President – Jontayvia Howard

Secretary – Alyvia Taylor

Treasurer – Israel Samedi



Cynthia S. Howard, Jone Williams, Kanani Kekahuna-Manu

We are not sure exactly when the Sarasota NAACP Youth Council was organized but we have learned of three individuals who are past presidents of the youth council who were actively involved in our community.

Here are their stories.

Remar Harvin is known as the first president of the youth council.  Mr. Harvin continued his activism in the community and later became a president of the Sarasota County Branch.  He worked with several organizations in our community which fought for equality for all.  He was a member of the North County Civic League, the Urban League, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee and the Suncoast Chamber of Commerce.

Edward E. James III heard the call for public service at a very young age.  His father, Dr. Edward E. James, II, was a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against the City of Sarasota in 1979.  The actions of his father triggered the desegregation of the Sarasota County Public Library.  Edward followed in the footsteps of his family who has a history of Civil Rights activism which spans over 100 years.  Mr. James was a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in 2017 and worked as a staffer on President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Mr. James served as youth council president from 2004-2006.  Under his leadership, the youth council was active and well known in the community.

Another one of our past presidents is Sheila Sanders who found her voice for activism in the 1950s.  She got her start as an NAACP youth council member, later becoming its president when she was 12 years old.  40 years ago this year, a federal lawsuit was filed by four community activists against the City of Sarasota, which challenged how Sarasota City Commissioners were elected.  Ms. Sanders was one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit, along with Edward James II, William Fred Jackson, and John H. Rivers, representing the African American community.  They contended that how the City of Sarasota held elections for five at-large commissioners violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  They continued the fight and did not give up.  After several years passed they won the lawsuit, pushing for single member district voting that opened the way for Black representation on the Sarasota City Commission.  Because of their efforts, Fredd Atkins, who was also a youth council member, became the first African American elected to the Sarasota City Commission.

Join us in our movement to bring about positive change in our community. Share with us your ideas and together we can make a difference.

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