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There is something special to be said about those who give tirelessly to their community and seek nothing in return. 

Michael “Mike” Williams is definitely a model for community engagement and giving. 

On Feb. 27, the West Volusia branch of the NAACP honored Williams with a Black History Month virtual celebration. 

“During the celebration, Destinee Griffin, Chloe Jackson and Jordan McPhoy, local youth from the community, provided Black history expressions through song, poetry recital and readings,” the Rev. Dr. Caroline Shine, president of the West Volusia/Seminole Section of the National Council of Negro Women, said. Shine is also the NAACP Religious Affairs Committee chair. 

The stage was set with a history walk presented by Sean King, president of the West Volusia branch of the NAACP, who spoke of his early years as a Youth Council member and scholarship recipient. 

“After eight years under the great leadership of Mike Williams and now the new president, I see all of the things that Mike made happen by being active and engaged,” King said. 

Dr. Earl Mowatt, associate professor of sociology at Bethune-Cookman University, interviewed Michael Williams. 

Virtual audience members remained in awe while Williams shared his involvement in the civil rights movement, which provided a clear picture of past and current obstacles toward racial equality.  

Williams shared the importance of today’s youth maintaining strong religious foundations and finding role models from within the community to help in their development. Williams also set a charge for the community to be the role models necessary for change. 

He warranted his key involvement to those who had come before him, such as David Staples, past president of the West Volusia branch of the NAACP.

Williams was presented with a plaque, which showcased him as a living legacy. 

The Religious Affairs Committee continues to do great work in building community connections through faith and relationships. 

Other members of the committee and branch present for the virtual event were the Rev. Dr. Missiouri McPhee, the Rev. Reginald Johnson, the Rev. William Bradley and Vernon Moore.   

Along with his active membership in the NAACP, Williams also serves as president of the Chisholm High Alumni Association and shows great pride in being a graduate of Florida A&M University. 

ONSTAGE — Sharing the stage at an event in January 2020 are, from left, Althea Chavers, Volusia County Elections Supervisor Lisa Lewis, Rev. Larry Chavers and Mike Williams. Lewis honored Williams as a “community pillar.”

He is also the vice president of the African American Association of Deltona, which is currently working with Walter Shaw of Top Cat Productions to produce a play and movie about the life of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, civil rights advocates.

“Mr. Moore is founder of the first branch of the NAACP in Brevard County, and served as president of the state chapter of the NAACP. We hope to contract Mario Van Peebles to star in the lead role,” Williams said. 

For those who are interested in what’s next, mark your calendars for an NAACP event at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 27, in recognition of Women’s History Month. 

“The Religious Affairs Committee will highlight the Prophetess Huldah and a few godly leaders, clerical and lay, from different walks of the local community who exhibit Huldah-like characteristics,” Shine said.  

Huldah was a prophetess, a clergywoman in today’s language.

Concerning the modern-day leaders who will be honored, Shine said, “Many people may be unfamiliar with them — just like many today are unfamiliar with Huldah. We hope to introduce these women to the community during this event.”

For more information, contact Shine at sunshine@iag.net.

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to cameronchronicleslive@gmail.com.

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