Youth & College
Division During the 1935 National Convention, young people challenged the organization to provide youth with a vehicle to address civil rights. The NAACP Board of Directors passed a resolution, formally creating the Youth and College Division in 1936. Under the guidance of Ms. Juanita E. Jackson, the Youth and College Division organized demonstrations against lynching and held group discussions on the inequality of public education.In 1960, the NAACP proudly saluted the involvement of its youth members in the sit-in demonstrations that began in Greensboro, North Carolina in an effort to desegregate lunch counters. In 1961, the NAACP Youth and College Division shifted its emphasis from sit-in 7 demonstrations to demands for jobs and equal opportunities for Black workers. In 1963, youth members from around the country responded to the call for a “Jobs and Freedom” march on Washington. The NAACP was a cornerstone among organizations that participated. In 1965, with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, NAACP youth members proved effective in registering over 350,000 voters.During the period of 1966-1981, the Youth and College Division instituted a vigorous campaign to register minorities between the ages of 18-24; resulting in a 40 percent increase in registered voters in this age category.Today, there are over 600 NAACP Youth Councils and College Chapters actively involved in the work of the association. In fact, the NAACP is the only major civil rights organization that includes young people and encourages them to participate fully in its programs—including membership on the National Board of Directors.Since its inception in 1936, the Youth and College Division has continued to serve as the premier training ground for young civil rights soldiers. With the hard work and dedication of our youth members, the Youth and College Division will carry out its mission of developing an intelligent, militant and effective youth leadership to ensure the political, educational, financial and social equality of rights for people of color through training, organization and mobilization.