It’s a new year and a new challenge for Shalia Lindsey. The former Minneapolis Branch NAACP President, is now NAACP Region 4 Youth Director. As such she has charge over 10 states; ... . Lindsey’s responsibilities now include overseeing development and operation of youth councils and college chapters. Lindsey will run Region 4 according to the NAACP National Agenda. The agenda focuses on issues of criminal and juvenile justice, economic development, education, health, and voter empowerment. Lindsey will tackle these issues through training, fundraising, helping youth units resolve issues, and other activities. Lindsey acknowledges the challenge of higher authority presented in her new position. However, she considers the challenge a welcome addition. “There is such a wide area that I will be over. It will be exciting to work with young people. Faith keeps me motivated, whatever the challenge.”
Lindsey joined the NAACP in 1995 and participated in the organization’s National Convention hosted by Minnesota. From that year it’s been an upward climb for Lindsey who served the NAACP in voluntary status. She has been an advisor to the Minneapolis Youth Council, Youth Works Chair (1997), and was co-chair of the Freedom Fund Banquet (annual fundraiser), from 1998-2000. In chairing the Freedom Fund Banquet, Lindsey helped bring in prominent guest speakers like Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson,Jr.
In 2001 Lindsey was elevated into a new realm of leadership. Reluctantly, she became 2nd Vice President of the Minneapolis Branch. She said she was apprehensive about responsibilities and expectations of the position. In April 2002, three months later, the Branch President stepped down, and Lindsey assumed the position. Sat., November, 23, 2002, Lindsey was re-elected President of the Minneapolis Branch. In a sweeping, yet controversial victory, Lindsey beat opponent Ron Edwards, 111 to 21. Girded with unexpected leadership experience, Lindsey was prepared for another year. However, in late Fall 2002, she received a mailing from the national office regarding a position vacancy for Region 4 Youth Director. She called the national office to get more information, and submitted her resume. In early December, Jeffrey Johnson, NAACP National Director of the Youth, College, and Young Adult Division, called Lindsey with a job offer. For Lindsey it became official when she received a welcome letter in the mail from NAACP President Kwesi Mfume. Lindsey was headed for Denver, Colorado, to join the NAACP staff.
Lindsey embraces community service as a livelihood. Not only did she serve with the NAACP for six years, but she worked full time in the same line of work. She resigned from Community Action of Minneapolis, a non-profit organization serving low income people. Lindsey worked as manager of youth services and development. Lindsey believes her past professional work and volunteerism is a bonus in her new position. “I understand the experience and challenges because I’ve been there. I share the experiences of training young people for today and the future.”
Lindsey’s goals for the new position are an extension of the national agenda. After she becomes acquainted with Region 4, she will work to “assess, strengthen, and develop youth units.” Key issues of concern include, “quality of education, teaching about economic development, literacy, health, police brutality, and life and leadership skills.” In reflection on the saying, “freedom ain’t free,” Lindsey will work on fundraising ventures. “I want to be able to help finance projects.”
Lindsey met success with a history of heartache and trial in the public eye. However, she perceived negative media as an obstacle to be conquered. “I take on challenges with out worries. My walk with God has made me stronger.” In fact while being attacked, her Faith as a Christian gave her a firm foundation.” She said God impressed upon her scriptures stating, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and “To whom much is given, much is required.” She said, “I couldn’t repay evil with evil. It would all fa