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NLU Alum Earns NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award Darrell Williams '16 selected by Office of the Secretary of Defense for recognition of his contribution to equal opportunity

(This story was submitted by Darrell Williams and written by Marcus Johnson, public affairs specialist at Defense Information Systems Agency)

NAACP Board Members with NLU alum

NAACP Board Members pose with NLU alum Darrell Williams as he earns NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award

Darrell Williams, chief of military personnel in the DISA Operations Center, received the Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award during the 109th National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) National Convention in San Antonio July 17.

The award recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves by promoting the tenets of civil and human rights, equal opportunity, human relations and public service.

Williams earned the prestigious award for promoting civil rights, and was honored alongside fellow recipients from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Bureau.

“For more than 25 years I’ve been mentoring others because it’s the right thing to do,” Williams said. “It’s overwhelming for me to be recognized for doing something every day that helps others. The Office of the Secretary of Defense recognizing me is very humbling. For them to believe that my service warrants such an award is a great honor.”

Individuals eligible for the award must show a commitment to the development or advancement of all DOD personnel, overcoming discrimination and eliminating barriers that hinder opportunity for all members of the Armed Forces and civilian workforce.

The award underscores Williams’ steadfast support of DISA’s Mentoring Program, commitment to building and fostering talent and diversity among employees, as well as his strong belief in equal opportunity and advancement for all.

Williams said he plans to continue passing on his knowledge about leadership, balance and values as he mentors military and civilian members within his span of influence.

Darrell Williams with NAACP Washington Bureau Director

Darrell Williams bottom, poses with Hilary Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau & Senior VP for Policy & Advocacy.

“I definitely love what I do. I am fulfilling one of my passions in life,” Williams said. “A lot of what I do is the result of the great mentors that I have, such as Helen Stewart, Dr. Gwen Stubbs, Tracey Gallaway, Sam Watkins and Don Means, just to name a few. Coaching people to maneuver through challenging times in their personal and professional lives is rewarding. I enjoy it, I find value in it and it coincides with DISA’s values.”

Roy Wilkins, for whom the award is named, led the NAACP for 22 years and established the NAACP Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Department in 1969. The award was instituted in 1975 in recognition of Wilkins’ distinguished service.

The NAACP was founded in 1909 and is currently the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.

With more than 300,000 members, the NAACP’s strategic objectives include ensuring political, educational, social, and economic equality, eliminating race prejudice, and removing barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes.