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Portland NAACP Branch 1120 was founded in 1914, by  Dr. J.N. Merriman as its first president and Beatrice Morrow Cannady, editor of African American newspaper The Advocate as its first secretary. To date, the Portland NAACP Branch is the oldest continuously chartered branch west of the Mississippi.

Since opening its doors, the Portland NAACP branch refused to shy away from one of the greatest tasks that Americans are sanctioned by the Declaration of Independence to uphold – protecting the singular belief that all men are created equal, and ensuring that Portland uphold its civic responsibility to do just the same.

The Portland NAACP branch has been steadily involved in establishing and upholding civil rights for the African American community and for people of color in Portland. Here are just a few of our major accomplishments:

The NAACP Portland Branch has adopted the new motto “Educate. Empower. Engage” to remind itself and all of us that the keys to building a better future and enable our bodies for the fight ahead are the ones that will unlock first our minds and our hearts.

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