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S.C. NAACP president to speak at King Day program tonight

Posted: January 18, 2013 6:17 p.m.
Updated: January 21, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Dr. Lonnie Randolph Jr., president of the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, will be the guest speaker for the Camden-Kershaw County NAACP’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service program today at 5:30 p.m. at Camden First United Methodist Church.

Randolph, a Columbia native, attended local public schools and graduated from Dreher High School in Columbia. He attended Benedict College where he studied biology and later graduated from the Southern College of Optometry with a Doctor of Optometry degree in 1977.

Randolph has maintained a private practice in Columbia for the past 36 years. He is a former president of the South Carolina Optometric Association and he has been previously recognized as Optometrist of the Year. While managing his practice, Randolph also volunteered his services as the physician for Palmetto Health’s free eye clinic, which provides care for students in grades K-12.

Now in his 10th year as president of the state NAACP conference, Randolph has had a longstanding interest in advancing human rights for all people. In 2011, former Gov. Mark Sanford awarded Randolph the Order of the Palmetto for his contributions to human rights services. He was recently elected as a member of the NAACP Special Contributions Fund Board of Trustees. Randolph is a former chairman of the State Consumer Affairs Commission, of which he has been a member for more than 31 years. In addition to the NAACP, he is active in several community organizations, including the University of South Carolina Citizens Advisory Council and Education Equity, and was a partner in Mission 2011 and Mission 2012 as a provider of free eye care to citizens across the Midlands.

Randolph’s prior service to the community has been through his involvement with organizations such as the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Columbia Free Medical Clinic Board, and the S.C. Commission for the Blind’s Diabetes Task Force.

Today’s program -- with the theme of “One Goal, Our Challenge, Our Democracy - Take a Stand!” -- is free and open to the public.

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