Local News

N.C. NAACP president gets high honor from governor

Posted August 23, 2010 10:21 a.m. EDT

The head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP received one of the state's highest honors for service over the weekend.

Gov. Bev Perdue presented the Rev. William Barber the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Saturday evening at a banquet in Durham.

Barber, 46, has been a longtime leader for civil rights and has served as president of the state NAACP for nearly five years.

Most recently, he's been outspoken on issues school equity throughout the state, including in Wake County, where the school board wants to change a longstanding student assignment policy of busing students to help achieve socioeconomic diversity for a community-based schools plan.

Barber, one of several protesters arrested during protests over the matter, and others believe the move will segregate schools and deny economically disadvantaged students of an education that equals that of their more advantaged counterparts.

According to the state NAACP website, Barber is the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro.

According to the governor's website, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is an award that the governor presents to North Carolina residents who have a proven record of service to the state.

Notable recipients have included poet Maya Angelou, evangelist Billy Graham, former NBA basketball star Michael Jordan and journalist Charles Kuralt.