Chamber Chat - CEAD

Jan 20

By Meg Moss


Council for Effective Actions and Decisions (C.E.A.D.), a non-profit community organization, was formed over 40 years ago (1978) by the name of Lee County Committee for Concerned Citizens.  “Many of the founding members are gone, however, we felt it necessary to continue, and we have.” stated current C.E.A.D. president Margaret Murchison. She shared that some of the founding members were the late Ralph Watson, Bill Pretty, Angela Mcleod, Guy Brown & Doc Marsh.  Also, Margaret Murchison, Zenobia Sellars, Fred Murchison, Eva Brown, Norma Bryant, Robert Reives, O.T. Foushee, attorney Greg Davis, and attorney Bill Wilson, to name a few.


Murchison shared that “we initiated a scholarship program initially for minority students because they were always omitted during scholarship presentations.  We wanted to make them proud and therefore, provided applications that they would have to fill out correctly and intelligently, using thinking skills.”  Those scholarships are based on academic ability and financial need.  Now, scholarships are awarded to students from all walks of life with no regard to race.  C.E.A.D has provided over $50,000 in scholarships to high school and community college students in the area. They also fund an endowment through the Central Carolina Community Foundation. 


C.E.A.D. is also involved in the political process, hosting forums during elections years and supporting voter registration drives and information sessions at the courthouse and at local churches.


C.E.A.D also serves as advocates for youths and senior citizens in areas of housing and quality of life.  They have conducted many food and book drives, and for the past two years, have hosted coat and hoodie collections for elementary students. Last year, 200 new hoodies and jackets were collected and distributed to school social workers.  They also provide school supplies to local teachers in the fall.


One of our biggest undertakings that C.E.A.D. does is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. community weekend of events and activities. They will host the annual MLK birthday celebration tomorrow at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. A morning program, starting at 9:00 am, under the leadership of Crystal McIver, will be geared towards our youth. There will be a pancake and sausage breakfast served by board members of the Ingram Family YMCA, a professional rapper, and an address by seven year old De'Zyre, who is a child entrepreneur that has written a book. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion with three local mothers who have lost their sons to gun violence. 


At 1:00 pm, the formal program will begin with the MLK Community Choir under the leadership of local musician Cameron McIver, recognition of elected officials, and the key note address will be given by Dr. Paul Murphy, professional musician/singer, and Pastor of Trinity AME Zion Church of Southern Pines.  Vendors will offer such things as jewelry, books, crafts and information. 


The event is offered to the public at no charge.  Funding for further C.E.A.D. applications will be available Monday, and they will also be made available in school guidance counselor offices.

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