Issues & Activities

Community Building

Community building has been an important focus for the Elmira-Corning NAACP Branch. Over the years, it has sponsored dances, social functions, and scholarly lectures. Many activities took place at the Neighborhood House, located at Fifth and Dickinson Streets. In 1979, the branch designated part of its office as a community resource center. There, it offered members educational assistance and professional skill-building programs.

Two dollar bill

In the fall of 1986, chapter president Bessie Berry urged support of “Black Dollar Days” to highlight the financial impact that African Americans had on the local economy and make clear how much of their income was spent on food alone.

Juneteenth Corning 1992.jpg

Juneteenth celebrations in Corning, June 1992. Image courtesy of the Elmira Star-Gazette.

In 1992, area residents began participating in Juneteenth celebrations in Corning. Juneteenth commemorates news of the end of slavery finally reaching Texas on June 19, 1865, two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Elmira started hosting the annual celebration in 2002.

NAACP New York State Conference Membership Award presented to the Elmira-Corning NAACP, October 11, 2008.

Over the years, the NAACP Elmira-Corning Branch has received various awards for their efforts. In 2015, they received the prestigious Thalheimer Award for excellence in programming at the NAACP national convention in Philadelphia.