SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local NAACP branch marks its one-year anniversary in February.

The anniversary comes at a time when the nation is once again banding together against police brutality.

The organization has been in Lackawanna County officially for a year in February but, the movement started well before that in 2020 when George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota.

Both leaders Eyewitness News spoke with say they are continuing to push for change even more so after Tyre Nichols’ death.

Shortly after the Memphis Police Department released the disturbing video showing the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols on January 7 both Brenda Johnson and Ricky Cephas say they each called their sons, reminding them how to act if stopped by the police.

“No other mothers besides women of color have to have that conversation with their sons,” said Brenda Johnson the incoming Vice President of NAACP Lackawanna County Branch.

“Like Brenda, I had that talk with my son I told him and I still do this I have my registration and proof of insurance in the visor right above my head so that way he sees my hands at all times,” says Ricky Cephas incoming President of NAACP Lackawanna County Branch.

Ricky Cephas is the incoming President of the NAACP Lackawanna County branch while Brenda Johnson is the incoming vice president they both feel like time is going backward.

“I remember that conversation my mom and my dad had with me and it’s sad that what 50 years later I’m still having that same conversation,” added Cephas.

Cephas says for change to happen people as a whole need to continuously push for it as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did.

“We need to hit the streets, we need to make a noise because nothing going to change. if we don’t if nothing changes on our end, we won’t get any change on the other end,” explained Cephas.

The NAACP Lackawanna County Branch currently has about 50 members. As the branch officially hits its one-year anniversary in February they hope to grow well beyond that.

“We’re looking for people that want to get involved no matter what your race is you are welcome and we need your help please,” Johnson continued.

The branch was created in Lackawanna County to assist the community in any incident families may find them in.

Cephas says members are scattered throughout the county and people can help by joining.

“Join the NAACP become a member, be a part of the fight because we can only make a difference with numbers,” added Cephas.

To learn how to join the Lackawanna County NAACP branch, head to their website, or for general information check out their Facebook page.