The new president of the Las Vegas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Quentin Savwoir, says he's taken on a huge role during an important time.
"My passion comes from a little bit of disbelief that we still have people having the same problems we had in 1990, 1980, 1970," Savwoir told KTNV.
Last month, the 36-year-old became the new president of the NAACP Las Vegas branch.
"This is the branch who de-segregated the Las Vegas Strip. This is the branch that's responsible for making sure there are body cams on Las Vegas Metro (Police)," Savwoir said. "We have done some powerful things as a branch."
In his new role, Savwoir says he plans to pick up where he says the valley is falling short when it comes to equality and justice for all people.
"The work of standing in the gap and being that vanguard for civil rights, we've been lacking there, and that's what I'm looking to restore," Savwoir said.
And just a few weeks after Savwoir was named president, yet another incident of police brutality unfolded where an unarmed Black man lost his life.
The death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee forced Savwoir to fully understand and appreciate the role he's taking on, he said.
“It really set in, the role that I’m assuming. I love making change and organizing people. I haven’t had a lot of practice with having to empathize and be a support to a whole community," Savwoir said. "As president of the branch, you have to have poise and leadership. You can't be distraught."
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For meaningful change to happen, Savwoir says there needs to be strength in numbers and consistency when facing adversity.
"We have to be the vanguard and the purveyor of justice for our whole community," he said. "Get involved, because it starts off small. Maybe changing the laws in Nevada as it relates to how law enforcement is held accountable when injustices occur. Maybe it's a 20-year project, but if we don't ever get started, it becomes a never project."
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