Black History Month: Killeen NAACP president reflects on trailblazing rise to leadership position
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - TaNeika Driver-Moultrie is the youngest president of the Killeen Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
She started out as a member of the civil rights organization and was then was elected to the top leadership position in 2011 at just 36-years old despite hesitation she said, from some of the elder.
“There was some push back, especially, from men. One individual who I didn’t expect to hear it from actually told me I was too young to run.”
But her youthfulness brought a vitality that pushed the movement for justice forward.
During her tenure, the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale graduate has encouraged stronger relationships with the community and the police department.
She said those relationships are vital, especially, when it comes to addressing the citizen complaints about police brutality on the local level.
Moultrie said, that under her leadership, she’s helped change the way the military sees the organization and got a seat at the table to provide input on decisions that affect minorities.
“The perception was that we were like the Black Panther Party. We are not. We are a civil rights organization.”
She said it was not until the Vanessa Guillen story broke, and generated a national spotlight for Killeen and Fort Hood, that the Secretary of the Army took the time to meet with member of the local NAACP branch.
Guillen was a 20-year-old soldier brutally murdered on post. Her remains were buried near the Leon River in rural Bell County.
Moultrie said she is most proud of being instrumental in getting a school named after the Killeen Independent School district’s first Black female principal, Alice W. Douse.
She got residents to sign a petition.
She said she attended every school board meeting, even while she was pregnant with her daughter who is now 7-years old, in the 1st grade, and attends Alice W Douse Elementary school.
“We were bridging many gaps, but this is one that we felt our kids needed... a school that was named in honor of someone who looked like them.”
Among her work at the NAACP, Moultrie is the executive director for the Greater Killeen Community Clinic.
She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated.
She was also elected state treasurer for the Texas NAACP in 2015.
Moultrie has a passion for community and more importantly, a passion for the people who live in it.
When asked why she is involved or why she cares so much, she mentioned a promise.
“Back in 2010 I had a scare with breast cancer, and I promised God if you get me through this, I’ll serve you all the days of my life and I meant that.”
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