Painting with a Twist word artThe NAACP hosted Paint Night with a Twist on February 29, 2020 at the Masonic Lodge in WindhamPaint Night Brochure, CT 06256. This was our first Paint Night with a Twist. Attendees were treated to a night of knowledge and self-care. We learned about Civil Rights Advocacy by incorporating the history of Sankofa into our branch work. Sankofa is a word in Twi language of Ghana. It is the symbol of a bird with its head turned backwards taking an egg from its back. It expresses reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress.

Rallies and Protests

Rally for Kyron Marcell Sands

The local NAACP hosted a public rally for Kyron Marcell Sands on Tuesday, July 15, 2019 on the steps of Windham Town Hall in Willimantic demanding transparency concerning Mr. Sands death. Sands’ parents spoke to the press for the first time since their son’s death pleading for answers from the law enforcement departments involved. Over 60 people attended the rally.

Kyron Marcell Sands died in a police shootout after leading officers on a car chase from Norwich to Willimantic on February 20, 2019. Rodney Alexander said, “The civilian review board is a venue to air grievances, express concerns and voice recognitions.” Mr. Alexander is the local NAACP Vice President.

#BLM at George Floyd Rally in Willimantic, CT
poster with background drawing of fists in the air, with text reading Willimantic, CT Peaceful Protest Black Lives Matter June 5th at 5 pm Jillian Square, Intersection of Main St. and Jackson St., Willimantic, CT. Wear masks, bring signs, bring water. Most importantly bring your voice.

Taking a Knee for George Floyd

On June 5, 2020, over 1,000 people from Willimantic and surrounding towns protested the death of George Floyd by racist police officers and the 400 years of white privilege and racism. The NAACP Protest kicked off subsequent rallies held in Pomfret, Woodstock, Danielson, Scotland and more.

Black and white image of Black man at protest wearing bandana over lower part of face and sunglasses

2019 WILI Boom Box ParadeWILI Boom Box Parade

The local branch of the NAACP traditionally celebrates July 4th with local and state leaders in the WILI Boom Box Parade. (In 2020, the parade was canceled because of COVID-19.) This unique parade features no marching bands and has gained much attention for its unusual and distinctive floats and participants, called “Connecticut’s Unique People’s Parade.”

The words Freedom Fund on a background of pink and red fireworks

1st Annual Freedom Fund Dinner

Theme:  Purpose, Passion & Political Action

Keynote: Andrew Woods, CEO Hartford Communities That Care


Community Service :

  • Corey Baker
  • Margaret Gledhill
  • James Flores

Humanitarian Award:

  • Reverend & Mrs. Ernest Kinsler

President’s Award:

  • Dr. Stacey Close

Black Excellence Award

  • Kenneth Taylor

Jacqueline Owens Above & Beyond:

  • Dr. Patricia Garcia


2nd Annual Freedom Fund Gala

Theme:  Be a Champion for Change

Keynote: Lottie B. Scott, Writer and Author of the book “Deep South – Deep North: A Family’s Journey”


Community Service:

  • Kim Haddad
  • Jennie Navarro

Humanitarian Award:

  • Susan Johnson
  • Dennis O’Brien

President’s Award:

  • Dwight Bachman

Black Excellence Award:

  • Richard Mitchel

Special Supporter of the Windham/Willimantic Branch of the NAACP

  • Daniel Syme

Jacqueline Owens Above & Beyond:

  • Rodney Alexander