The Rev. KoJo Nantambu, pastor of Green Oak Missionary Baptist Church, was elected president of the Charlotte NAACP.

Nantambu, 57, defeated retired businessman Michael Lawson Monday in what chapter leaders described as heavy voter turnout.

He inherits a chapter that has been dormant since 2008, when it was taken over by the national NAACP amid allegations of financial irregularities. Moments after his election, Nantambu told that his top priorities would be rebuilding public trust and focusing the chapter on issues such as educational disparities and jobs.

Despite local inequities that persist, he said, “The black community has been reluctant to get up, stand up and address these issues. We’ve got to get people interested and aware that we have issues that we need to address… Our children are suffering in education all over the country.”

Nantambu said one way to get more people involved is to build a local NAACP that will people will be attracted to. He promised a more activi9st chapter.

Nantambu will be installed Sept. 6 at a ceremony scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Afro American Cultural Center.

Officials declined to say how many members voted during polling hours at Little Rock AME Zion Church.

“We had a steady stream all day long,” said Joyce Waddell, who led the Chapter’s reorganization effort. “It really exceeded our expectations.

Frank Humphrey of Madison, Wis., who serves on the NAACP’s national executive committee, said the next move will be to restore the local chapter. Humphrey has served as Charlotte administrator since the chapter was suspended.

Humphrey said he was pleased with the outcome.

“I could not have asked for anything better,” he said. “This was a test of democracy.”

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