NAACP forms a branch in Hillside

Nicole Graves-Watson

HILLSIDE, NJ — A new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been formed in Hillside. The township of Hillside has never previously had an NAACP branch. Nicole Graves-Watson is the founder and president of the Hillside branch of the NAACP. “Black people in this country continue to be systematically disenfranchised. In the words of the prominent civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, I was ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’ of the disparities, so I decided to organize and form an NAACP branch in town that will serve the entire community,” said Graves-Watson.

Richard Smith, president of the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, said, “I am confident that Ms. Graves-Watson and her team will stand tall and unrelenting in the face of hostility and will, in good times and in bad, stand for what they believe in and lend much-needed support to making freedom a reality for all, pushing for better opportunities for all members of the Hillside community.”

“We welcome the NAACP into the township of Hillside. I look forward to future collaborations to meet the needs of our community,” said Dahlia Vertreese, mayor of Hillside.

“Hillside NAACP looks forward to working with all elected township, county and state officials to bring positive change,” Graves-Watson said.