MS NAACP Rewards Forrest County Members For Community Activism


Four members of the Forrest County branch of NAACP # 5291 received three awards at the Mississippi State NAACP convention held virtually November 11-13. The convention presents five prestigious annual awards.

Vernon Dahmer Award

The Vernon Dahmer Award, presented to the person or people who have made the most contributions to young and adult citizens of the African American community, was presented to Joseph and Andrea Wesley of Hattiesburg.

In their roles as leaders of political action and education committees, they sponsored political forums for state, county and city election campaigns.

During the 2020 election season, they wrote and secured grants to help with the NACCP’s Get Out the Vote campaign and each spent hours prospecting neighborhoods and registering Forrest County residents to vote. During the last three years of election cycles, they have organized and sponsored trips to the polls.

At least twice a year, they enter schools to help students approaching the age of 18 register to vote; they succeeded in convincing the principals of secondary schools to include civic education classes. As former university / college educators, both have been very effective in their work with schools, educational institutions and initiatives, Greek organizations and churches to achieve educational goals.

Both have been with the NAACP for over thirty years and are Diamond Life members. They are parents of five children and numerous grandchildren. They are members of ST. James CME Church where they actively participate.

Jerry Mauldin Corporate Award

The Jerry Mauldin Corporate Award, given to the individual or company for showing interest in civic and community affairs, has been awarded to Mavis A. Creagh, who has devoted virtually all of his work to civic and community affairs. She has expertise in community revitalization and economic development and disaster recovery.

Creagh is currently the Executive Director of R3SM, Inc. (Recover, Rebuild and Restore Southeast Mississippi), an award-winning nonprofit founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Over the past four years, R3SM has overseen 30 new construction, over 150 repair projects, and over $ 5 million in volunteer work and donations throughout the state of Mississippi and facilitated numerous other assistance programs. .

R3SM owns and operates the renovated historic Volunteer House (circa 1910), formerly known as the “Robinson Inn” in the historic Newman-Buschman district, which offers administrative offices, a small event venue, training, temporary and transitional housing, a seasonal university accommodation and lodging for some sixty volunteers who come to Canada.

Creagh is the proud mother of an ambitious and multi-talented teenage son, Jordan, and lives in Hattiesburg. She recently became an NAACP Silver Life subscriber member.

Fannie Lou Hamer Prize

The Fannie Lou Hammer Award, awarded to the individual or organization for demonstrating the most sincere care for those in need, has been awarded to Mary Jean Hossley, a member of the NAACP since 2003.

A highly awarded health professional, Hossley has long served as the chair of the Forrest County NAACP branch health promotion committee.

When the pandemic began, Dr Hossley organized pandemic responses throughout Forrest County and the Pine Belt, starting with sewing masks with his daughter (over 2,000!), But later spreading information protection, instructions on hygiene and medical care, where to go for tests or treatment and instructions on computerized recording.

Later, she collaborated with other organizations to immunize as many people as possible, but particularly the hard-to-reach elderly, disabled and low-income people through advertising and information campaigns and events, in which 1,800 people have been vaccinated.

On September 28, 2021, she joined the “Pine Belt: This is Our Shot” campaign with the Vaccination Equity Initiative (VEI-Mississippi), part of the Microsoft Global Vaccination Equity Initiative organized to address health services in poor communities. served.

Hossley is an ordained minister, wife, mother of a daughter who is also active in the NAACP, and godmother of six children. Its original church is Hattiesburg Crusade for Christ Deliverance Church.

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