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Personality: Montae Lamar Taylor

Spotlight on interim president of Va. NAACP Youth/College Division

8/25/2017, 8:11 a.m.
Montae Lamar Taylor, interim president of the Virginia NAACP Youth and College Division and a student at Old Dominion University, ...

Meet this week’s Personality and young social activist, Montae L. Taylor: Volunteer position: Interim president, Virginia NAACP Youth and College Division.

Date and place of birth: June 1 in Richmond.

Current residence: Norfolk.

Family: Mother, Charlette Taylor; father, Kelvin Taylor; and brother, Kelvin Taylor Jr.

Career goal: To become an attorney focused on youth rights.

Ultimate ambition: To open a youth rehabilitation center with an emphasis on education instead of incarceration.

What I did this summer: Helped organize programming for the state NAACP and the ODU organization Brother2Brother.

Classification: Senior at ODU, majoring in sociology and criminology with a concentration in social welfare.

When and how I got involved with NAACP: My family has been involved with the NAACP going back to right after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., decision. They fought for faster than “deliberate speed” integration for schools in New Kent County. My family continues to be involved in the NAACP.

The NAACP is important because: Youths need to know the power of the NAACP because the organization is a demonstration of what can happen when people come together.

What the NAACP means to me: It’s an opportunity for me to carry the torch and continue my family’s legacy, not just with the NAACP, but as a freedom fighter.

Role of NAACP on college campuses: Youth and college chapters are energized, ready to work, willing to get out in the streets when they need to and willing to do the things that need to be done.

Top issues on college campuses: It’s important that we understand what the issues are to educate our peers on them. As college students, we are positioned to gain power once we leave the institutions where we are attending school, and need to use that power to further the cause.

NAACP youths are: Fired up and ready to go.

How many NAACP student members were present in Charlottesville: I’m not sure. When we go into situations like that, we go into it as brothers and sisters who are concerned about one another, representing a unified voice, whether or not you are affiliated with the NAACP.

The reason I decided to go: To allow something like this to happen in my state and not show up wasn’t an option. I wanted to lay eyes on the situation. The press would never see everything that was going on, and you won’t know what’s happening unless you see it for yourself.

How have the events in Charlottesville changed you: In everything we do, we have prepared for incidents like Charlottesville. We have prepared for the worst. It didn’t change me, but when it comes to our rights, and when it comes to safety, I have a heightened focus.

How I start the day: With prayer and then usually call my parents and my day moves on from there.

A perfect day for me is: When I can get plenty of sleep and relax, then hanging out with family and friends.

The best thing my parents ever taught me: To always love people the way I would want them to love me.

My friends describe me as: Funny and dedicated.

A quote that I am inspired by is: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The top of my “to-do” list is: Graduate college. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to go to college. To be here, I’m already living my dream, and to graduate would just be even better.

Person who influenced me the most: My dad. He has shown me how to be a great man, to always stay humble and to worry about others more than yourself.

Book that influenced me the most: “Makes Me Wanna Holler” by Nathan McCall.

What I’m reading now: “Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail” by David Coogan.

Next goal: Graduation.