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History of Brockton Area Branch of the NAACP


The NAACP is the oldest, largest, strongest and most effective civil rights organization in America. The NAACP was established in 1909. The NAACP mission statement is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial discrimination. The Brockton Area Branch was chartered in 1954.

Brockton’s involvement with the NAACP dates back to the 1920’s with the Boston branch. In 1953,  under the guidance of Harry O. Bernard, a drive began to obtain a local charter. About a year later the goal was achieved. Attorney Bernard Cohen was elected branch president. It was also in 1954 that the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Brown of Education, declared the doctrine of “separate but equal” to be unconstitutional.

The Brockton Area Branch was instrumental in making public housing available to low income people in Brockton in the 1950s and 1960s. Our members administered programs, mentored clients and some directly participated and benefited from Brockton’s “War on Poverty”, a movement initiated under President Kennedy’s administration in 1963. The Brockton Branch was active in housing, education and employment. The NAACP had a prominent role in organizing the 1963 March on Washington and successfully lobbying for legislation that resulted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Membership in the Brockton Area Branch flourished in the 1970’s and 1980’s under the leadership of Nan Ellison who served as president for sixteen years. Education and youth participation was promoted in earnest during the Ellison years.  

This paved the way for the Brockton Branch in the 1990’s to establish a strong youth program called ACT-SO (Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics). Also, in the early 1990’s the Brockton Community Access television program “NAACP Forum” premiered with an interview and tribute to Nan Ellison for her years of service. The forum continues today to enlighten the community with topics that affect the lives of people in the community.

The Brockton Branch advocates for the protection of civil rights. We refer our community constituents whose rights have been violated to the appropriate entity for assistance and legal advice. We have helped numerous students and adults resolve and restitute situations that had complicated their lives.  Through our volunteer committee structure, for example, our legal redress, education, economic development and our political action committees, we have continuously protected civil rights, encouraged students to stay in school, promoted equal access to jobs and business opportunities, registered and encouraged people to vote; and provided voter information forums. We recognize members and community friends for outstanding achievement.

The Brockton Area Branch Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast is held on the third Saturday of January. For 28 consecutive years, we have held the event to celebrate the contributions to society of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout the year we hold numerous community programs and fundraising events:

•MLK Breakfast

•ACT-SO Program

•Annual Golf Tournament

•Voter Education Forums

•Movie and Book Reviews

•Community Activism Forums

•Community Collaborations

The NAACP is a nonprofit organization

whose financial support is derived from membership dues, corporate, and individual donations. We are grateful for the continuing support from all who recognize the importance of the NAACP mission.


All Membership meetings are open to the public.

Membership Meeting:

4th Monday of the month, 7pm

Messiah Baptist Church

80  Legion Parkway

Brockton, MA 02301

Executive Meeting:
2ndMonday of the month,  7pm
Messiah Baptist Church
80  Legion Parkway
Brockton, MA 02301

About Us: About Us


Get to Know the Faces behind Brockton Area Branch NAACP

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Phyllis Ellis 

President of the Brockton Area Branch NAACP, now serving her third term.

She is chair of the ACT-SO Committee. A program for students 9 thru 12 who can compete in more than 30 categories in STEM, Humanities, Business,and Performning and Visual arts. She is the producer of the NAACP Forum at Brockton Community Acceess aired on Channel 9.

Received the Black Excellence on the Hill Award in 2019 at the State House after being nominated by Representative Gerry Cassidy.  Received the Sojourner Truth Award in 2020 from the historic Boston Equal Rights League, Inc.

She is the chair of the Mayor Community Justice Task Force and is a Commissioner for the Plymouth County Commission on the Status of Women.

Serves on the Board of Trustees at the Brockton Main Library and is a Board Member at Family Community Resources in Brockton. 

Earned a B.S. in  Business Education from North Carolina Central University.  Is a homeowner in Brockton  MA.  Has three children and six grandchildren.


Officers and Contact Information:

President-Phyllis Ellis

1st Vice President-Tony Branch

2nd Vice President-Leona Martin

3rd Vice President-LaTwanda Merricks

Secretary-Miles Jackson

Treasurer-Sydney Marrow

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Religious Affairs

WIN (Women in NAACP)

About Us: Our Team
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