P.O. Box 188 

Washington, PA 15301 
(724) 222-7820 

Press Release
Date-sensitive Information
Media and news organizations, contact: 
Ada Gay Griffin, Press & Communications Chair | 412-298-8915

NAACP Washington Branch President to Host an Open House for Black History Month

Washington, PA | February 3, 2023—

Washington County’s NAACP branch will hold an Open House on Saturday, February 25th, from 2 pm to 6 pm at 68 Highland Avenue in Washington, PA. NAACP President David T. Gatling, Sr. will host this Black History month outreach event.

The public is invited to explore the NAACP’s history and local impact, learn more about its goals and activities, discuss civil rights challenges, and share thoughts on effective strategies for social change. The Open House will feature Washington School District student projects about local Washington County Black History curated by Washington High school teacher Erin Moore and a self-titled “Black is Beautiful” collage by LeMoyne Community Center students under the supervision of executive director Teresa Burroughs. Voter information and voter registration assistance will be on hand.

The NAACP has a long history in the region. The first local chapter was organized as the Booker T. Washington NAACP in 1917 during heightened racial violence and a nationwide rise in white supremacist groups, racial hatred, and bigotry. Washington’s NAACP chapter was reactivated in 1958 to shed light on continued civil rights challenges experienced by African Americans. The Mon Valley NAACP branch has operated since being chartered in 1929 and will open new offices in Monessen, PA, in March 2023. (724-684-8545 |

The NAACP has played a critical role in changing the harsh inequities faced by Black people. In 1958, Blacks were systematically excluded from Washington’s mainstream. Black residents, workers, and taxpayers in Washington couldn’t buy or rent homes outside specific Black neighborhoods. There were no Black teachers teaching white students and no Black sales clerks. Manufacturing, energy industries, and local companies only hired Blacks to work menial jobs. A picture of a Black person had never appeared on the front page of the local newspaper. Community organizations and social groups didn’t want Blacks to participate. Blacks were excluded from or segregated at recreational and entertainment venues. Blacks could not get a home mortgage in Washington or share semi-private rooms at the hospital. In death, they were buried in an exclusive Black section of the cemetery. [From an unpublished 1976 historical report by Kay Malone with Louis E. Waller covering the Washington NAACP from 1960 to 1975].

The NAACP continues making Black history 365 days a year by taking action for equal justice and civil rights, fighting for Black lives, and amplifying Black excellence. Conditions have changed, but there’s more work to do.

Join us in exploring our historic mission to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of everyone.

For more information on the NAACP Open House, contact 724-222-7820 or or call president David T. Gatling, Sr. at 724-554-0876.

Additional details may be found in the Black History section of the NAACP website ( on Facebook and the NAACP display case at Citizens Library throughout the month of February.