AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — In a year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Amarillo Branch NAACP set out to accomplish its mission of ensuring equality for all in a safe and effective manner.

“The Amarillo Branch NAACP exists to ensure the political, social and economic welfare and preservation of civil rights for all citizens,” said Patrick Miller, Amarillo Branch NAACP President.

That simply is the mission of the Amarillo Branch NAACP.

Like many area organizations and non-profits, the pandemic forced them to find new and creative ways of keeping their mission going in 2021.

That includes their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service where they helped to feed local healthcare workers, advocating for the re-zoning of the North Heights neighborhood as well as promoting outreach and advocacy.

“We hosted a series of virtual town halls, ranging from COVID-19, getting those facts out there to education, criminal justice, women’s empowerment, housing, and everything in between. I think just having a year where it was focused on the virtual outreach, it allows us to now know our great impacts in that component,” said Miller.

2021 also served as Miller’s first full year as branch President, taking over for Floyd Anthony, who stepped down from the position after 15 years of service.

“We moved mountains to ensure that other people had the opportunity to achieve equity within the workplace, within the voting booth and throughout all components of life. I think what I have attempted to do is to continue that legacy of fighting for the issues that matter,” said Miller.

“I often talk about how the generation before us, they need to pass the torch and they have passed the torch to Patrick and he just took off running with it. So I am proud to serve with him. I am proud to fight alongside him and I think he is doing an amazing job as President,” said Melodie Graves, Amarillo Branch NAACP 2nd Vice President.

As far as what 2022 holds for the Amarillo Branch NAACP, Miller says it’s very simple.

“We’re just going to continue doing what is right and what needs to be done for our beloved city,” said Miller.

This past weekend, as part of their National Day of Service along with area organizations, the Amarillo Branch NAACP went around to different North Heights neighborhood homes to install fire alarms.

To learn more about the Amarillo Branch NAACP and how you can get involved with them and their mission, click here: http://amarillonaacp.org/wp/