National NAACP chairwoman to address Livingstone graduates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 2, 2019

SALISBURY — A new chapter begins this weekend in the lives of more than 100 students as Livingstone College holds graduation ceremonies.

Commencement exercises will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Livingstone Alumni Memorial Stadium on campus. In case of bad weather, ceremonies will be held in Trent Gymnasium. Each graduate will receive four tickets for guests if the program is held inside.

“There is a 50 percent chance of rain on Saturday. While we hope for the best, we are preparing for rain and want to ensure it does not dampen this special day for our graduates and their families,” said Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.

“Many of our graduates are the first in their families to earn a college degree and this is a momentous occasion for the entire family,” Jenkins said. “We will try to accommodate as many family and friends as possible in case of rain but seek your patience and understanding for any inconveniences that may be caused by the weather.”

Roslyn M. Brock will be the commencement speaker. Brock is the youngest person and fourth woman to chair the national board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

An active member of the NAACP for nearly three decades before becoming chairwoman of its board in 2010, Brock founded the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, a recruitment and training initiative to cultivate a new generation of civil rights leaders.

She directed the board’s historic policy decision to support marriage equality, and under her leadership, the NAACP produced the manual “The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative.” She also commissioned a national task group to study the impact of charter schools on the nation’s public education system.  

Brock is also a health policy advocate and social justice change agent. As chief advocacy officer for Bon Secours Mercy Health, a not-for-profit Catholic health care system with 43 hospitals in seven states and more than 57,000 employees, Brock directs advocacy efforts on health care policy and reform, health equity and social justice initiatives.

Her 30-plus years of professional experience includes health care policy and equity analysis, social justice advocacy, financial management, philanthropy, leadership formation and community development.

Brock graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Union University and holds a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University; an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and a master’s degree in divinity from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

Additionally, she holds honorary doctorate degrees from Virginia Union University, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Smith College.