SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield began its celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King day today with a ceremony in partnership with the Greater Springfield NAACP.

While celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., newly elected NAACP officers were also given an oath of office, along with being sworn in for a two-year term. Bi-annual elections of officers were last held in November 2022.

Bishop Talbert W. Swan returned for his second term as President of the branch, serving another two years. He selected a slate of officers to lead the branch with him. For Swan, this was his 7th year being elected.

Elected officers include:

  • President: Bishop Talbert W. Swan, II
  • 1st Vice President: Rev. Mark A. Baymon, Sr.
  • 2nd Vice President: Angela Thorpe
  • 3rd Vice President: Rev. Samuel Saylor
  • Secretary: Freda Malone
  • Assistant Secretary: Kathi Swanson
  • Treasurer: Carolyn Roberson
  • At Large Executive Committee Member: Ayanna Crawford

President Swan said, “There is a tremendous amount of work yet to be done in the areas of health disparities, education equity, criminal justice, economic development, and voter empowerment. The city of Springfield has a long way to go toward racial equity and equal treatment of all its citizens. Our Branch’s voice on many of the critical issues of the day must be heard loud and clear and have a direct impact in framing both conversation and action.  We are and will continue to be a viable and relevant force for shaping change in the region.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno, Congressman Richard Neal, State Representative Bud Williams, and other local leaders of Springfield were in attendance. Following the ceremony, the annual flag-raising ceremony was held outside City Hall.

The Springfield Community brought their voices together to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King. It was a powerful ceremony, full of beautiful song and spoken word, historical context and impassioned calls to action on behalf of a towering champion of equality.