Killeen NAACP president reflects on trailblazing rise to leadership position

Killeen, Texas (KWTX) – TaNeika Driver-Moultrie is the recent President of the Killeen Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

She started out as a member of the civil rights organization and was then elected to the top leadership position in 2011 at the age of just 36, despite hesitation by some of the elders, she said.

“There were some setbacks, especially from men. One person I didn’t expect actually told me I was too young to walk.”

But her youth brought with it a vitality that fueled the movement for justice.

During her tenure, the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale graduate has fostered closer relationships with the community and the police department.

She said those relationships are vital, especially when it comes to addressing citizens’ grievances about police brutality at the local level.

Moultrie said that under her leadership, she helped change the way the military views the organization and got a seat at the table to provide input into decisions that affect minorities.

“The perception was that we were like the Black Panther Party. We are not. We are a civil rights organization.”

She said it wasn’t until the Vanessa Guillen story came out and put Killeen and Fort Hood in the national spotlight that the Secretary of the Army took the time to meet with a member of the local NAACP branch.

Guillen was a 20-year-old soldier who was brutally murdered while on post. Her remains were buried near the Leon River in rural Bell County.

Moultrie said she was very proud to be instrumental in having a school named after the Killeen Independent School District’s first black principal, Alice W. Douse.

She got local residents to sign a petition.

She said she attended every school board meeting, even when she was pregnant with her daughter, who is now 7, in the 1st grade and attending Alice W Douse Elementary School.

“We bridged a lot of the gaps, but we felt that our kids needed this… a school named in honor of someone who looked like them.”

In addition to her work at the NAACP, Moultrie is the executive director of the Greater Killeen Community Clinic.

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated.

She was also elected State Treasurer of the Texas NAACP in 2015.

Moultrie has a passion for the community and, more importantly, a passion for the people who live in it.

When asked why she’s involved or why she cares so much, she mentioned a promise.

“In 2010 I was terrified of breast cancer and I promised God that if you get me through this situation I will serve you all the days of my life and I meant it.”

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