A committee assigned to support the Augusta NAACP chapter’s call to remove a Confederate monument on Broad Street will meet next week to consider its next steps.
The committee, composed of more than 20 people who showed their interest at last week’s rally to petition for the monument to be removed, is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the group’s Augusta branch office at 1101 11th St.
The rally was prompted by violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 after that city planned to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Georgia NAACP called for the removal of all Confederate symbols from state and local properties at an Aug. 18 conference.
For Tuesday’s meeting, the committee, spearheaded by the Rev. Melvin Ivey of Greater St. John Baptist Church, will work to find Confederate monuments in Augusta and North Augusta and explore state laws regarding them, said Beulah Nash-Teachey, the NAACP chapter president .
“There are two initiatives,” she said. “One, to identify all the monuments in Richmond County CSRA area, and the other is to identify who would be responsible to remove these monuments.”
Nash-Teachey said that after last week’s rally to remove the Augusta Confederate monument, some residents reached out to chapter members requesting that the Confederate monument in North Augusta be included. Nash-Teachey said the committee will work to identify that Confederate monument.
“We have been asked to help with one of the monuments there so we are now going to go that far,” she said Thursday.
A Georgia law forbids moving, changing or obscuring any memorial to military veterans.
In a recent interview with The Augusta Chronicle, state Sen. Jesse Stone said Augusta legislators would need community support before filing a bill that would then need to be passed by the state House and Senate. The governor would have to sign off on the new law, he said.
Nash-Teachey listed this as the committee’s top priority.
She said the group will also reach out to the Augusta chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to get its recommendations on removing the monument in the 700 block of Broad Street.
“We want to embrace everyone,” she said. “We’re not going to exclude them, because it’s not personal, it is a community effort.”