Profile: Kevin Myles Tackles Issues in Region V

olding the position of southeastern regional director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) carries a lot of weight. Nevertheless, it’s a weight that Kevin Myles, the newest NAACP Region V director, is ready to take on.

For many years, Myles has been a supporter, member and activist within the organization and has set the bar high for himself as well as others in the nation’s oldest civil rights orga- nization. He’s held several positions within the NAACP. Myles has been a youth adviser, parliamentarian, protocol action chair for the branch and the state, branch president and a state conference president. To name a few.

“One of the things that I started when I was working with the Wichita branch was I worked as a debate and oratory coach,” says Myles. “We started with about five youth and built it up to about 85. One of my first recently went on to place in a national oratory competition.”

As the Region V director, Myles is returning to his south- ern roots. With much of his family in Tennessee, he was delighted to know that the position was available and that he was a strong candidate.

“I jumped on it,” he said. “What’s interesting for me is that it doesn’t feel like a real job. I’ve worked for the organization for so long as a volunteer that I feel like it’s just a continuation of the work that I love to do.”

Working with the NAACP is a far cry from Myles’ previous career as a

 

corporate executive. For a decade he was the manager of flight operations for Ryan International Airlines, now based in Rockford, Ill.

But Myles is excited about his new role and about providing assistance, guidance and information to the units about the national initiative. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to sit down with the regional leaders and have some conversation about what [their initiative plans] look like. "We are in a unique position as regional directors

And of course the NAACP has been at the forefront of the fight for jus- tice for Travyvon Martin, the unarmed Black teen who was killed in February by George Zimmerman.

Myles continues the NAACP’s tradition of speaking truth to power. The activist will use all the resources available to him — events, rallies and pro- grams — that will level the playing field for every race, nationality and gender.

Myles is prepared and more than ready for his new position. He is eager to work on the challenges that stand before him. For now, Myles is keeping his goals within the organization to himself and his head focused on the many issues of injustice.

“What I hope will be my legacy is that when I am no longer doing this work, I want to have an entire cadre of people that I’ve brought along with me,” says Myles.
The NAACP has a mission as well as a legacy of teaching, fighting and results. The work that Myles is creat- ing and completing is right on track with the personal work that he has been commissioned to do. Part of his goal is to visit and work with every state that is in Region V.

“I’m really enjoying the fact that at this time in life, I get paid to do some- thing that I love to do. I wake up every day excited about working with the branches and dealing with the dif- ferent challenges that come up,” says Myles.

— Jatika Hudson

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where— on the one hand — we help drive participation in national initiatives but we also help the units to become more effective with their own initiatives," says Myles, who notes there are a number of things going on in Region V.

Some issues the region is working on include boycotting of voter identifi- cation laws in Georgia, alleged illegal arrests in Florida, Confederate flag issues in South Carolina, region-wide educational issues.