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Durham NAACP Gets Aggressive with Recruitment, Programs

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DURHAM — The Durham chapter of the NAACP is getting aggressive. They want to quadruple their membership and start a number of high visibility programs.

They've been around for nearly a century, and in the Bull City, they're trying to get bigger. But how do people inDurhamfeel about theNAACP?

We asked one man who lives in the Few Gardens public housing project.

"It's a good black group, colored group to get behind, but you have also got to help yourself. If anybody is going to help you, you have got to help yourself," said Durham resident Henry Williams.

The organization wants to reach out to young people. We found someN.C. Centralstudents who want to reach back.

"The older people joining with the younger people putting their minds together probably come up with some great ideas to help black society in Durham. I think I'll join," said N.C. Central student DeShan Simmons.

Shoppers at Brightleaf Square hope that all are welcome.

"I don't see any reason why people can't just get together and join hands and do things together freely without any color. We are all people," said Durham resident Marilyn Russell.

On the streets of Durham, opinions on the NAACP vary.

But the local chapter says its central goal is simple. They want to recruit more members.

"We are open-minded, and we see that it is time to do things differently," said Curtis Gatewood of the Durham NAACP.

The Durham NAACP says it needs to change to meet its recruitment goal of 1,500 new members in the next two years.

The Durham NAACP wants to increase its membership from 500 to 2,000.

They are also considering a Peace Patrol, a group that would patrol the streets to try to deter crime.