Breaking tradition: New Greenville NAACP president unveils modern priorities and strategic goals

While public service runs in Emanuel Flemming’s DNA, today he’s addressing the needs of the present. Flemming’s also prioritizing health equity, and civic engagement in schools and government.
New NAACP president Emanuel Flemming talks about his strategic goals and priorities for the future
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:15 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Leading a civil rights organization in more equitable 21st century is no easy task. And for over 100 years the NAACP has put advocacy and action in the polls, schools, the workplace, and legislation. But this year, the Greenville branch has a new president whose unveiled a new set of priorities and goals. While public service runs in Emanuel Flemming’s DNA, today he’s addressing the needs of the present.

The purpose of the U.S. Army is to maintain land dominance, a mission that demands constant training.

“It is truthfully exhaustive, but it is much needed,” Flemming said.

What might surprise those on the outside is the visibility of chaplains corps, responsible for the spiritual well-being of soldiers, counseling and mission resilience.

“It is imperative,” Flemming said.

Emanuel Flemming Sr. is a chaplain candidate serving in the South Carolina National Guard. And after 14 years of service, he’s learned victory takes working together.

“The military really helps you open your mind to a bigger world than what you’re used to or accustomed to,” he said. “You’ll understand that everybody doesn’t walk like you, talk like you or act like you.”

And it’s the kind of appreciation for diversity of thought he’s applied to his new role outside of uniform.

“How can we be more of an effective fighting team if we don’t know how to get along to make sure that we move forward according to the (American) mission set forth, not just our biases and our differences that we make more of an issue than it has to be,” he said.

Effective Jan. 9, Flemming is the new president of the Greenville SC NAACP Branch #5522. He’s got a new theme and strategic goals. First, voter registration and access.

“If we did not have power in the vote you wouldn’t have those certain people with oppressive mindsets trying to keep you from voting,” he said.

Another priority, monthly health equity outreach. The branch already works with a sickle cell disease advisory council, and they’re also tackling mental health.

“We have to make sure we get past the stigma in society,” he said.

Flemming’s also prioritizing civic engagement in schools and government.

“We need to start going to the school board meetings, but also to the city and county council meetings,” he said. “Game recognizes game. You can talk a good game and tell me things that sound great, but I need to see you produce.”

Flemming isn’t leaving state legislation off the table. He’d like to see more constituents informed about bills like the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act which would provide penalty enhancements, more prison time and fines for people who commit hate crimes. It passed the SC House on Wednesday and now moves to the Senate.

“Making sure that there’s justice – actual justice for those individuals who are victims to those hate crimes,” he said.

When speaking of involvement and evolvement, Flemming would like to see branch membership numbers grow especially among those 35 and under. Adding the greatest strides during the civil rights era were by youth and young adults and that role is still relevant, right now. To learn more about the Greenville NAACP Branch #5522 visit