Woodall using skills, lessons learned at Georgia Southern in new role as Georgia NAACP president

Nathan Woodruff

Georgia Southern alum James Woodall is now serving as the youngest state president in the history of the NAACP.

At 25, Woodall has served as the Georgia Youth & College Division State President, First Vice President of the Bulloch County Branch, and is a 2018 graduate of the NAACP’s Next-Gen leadership training program. 

Woodall said that GS gave him the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals with similar passions, mindsets and motivations.

“I was there, during times like Trayvon Martin, when he was killed with Mike Brown was killed when, when Eric Garner was killed,” Woodall said. “And I got to be around a campus community with people that were there were just as committed to ensuring the promises of this country that were available to all persons, not just persons who were more fortunate, financially or more fortunate, ethnically, or even racially.”

Regarding the recent issues on the Statesboro campus Woodall said that action around increasing diversity, and the university’s actions to be towards better representing the student body as a whole.

“It starts with representation and Georgia Southern needs to really be serious and intentional about not just having a conversation, but visually putting their money where their mouth is,” Woodall said. “[By hiring] faculty members that represent the diversity of the student body, putting resources, financial resources, departmental resources into curriculum changes. That really addresses the diversity and historical diversity of the campus community.”

Studying political science with a minor in religion, Woodall graduated in 2016 and is also an 8-year veteran of the US Army, holding the rank of Sergeant and working as an Intelligence Analyst. 

He is also a graduate student at the Morehouse School of Religion in the Interdenominational Theological Center, and serves as a minister at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Marietta.  

Woodall said that really his favorite part of being at GS was hanging out with his friends.

“Really just sitting in the Union, you know, between classes and talking to my friends and eating Chick-fil-A and buying other people food on my swipe, you know, on my meal card there,” Woodall said. “Just enjoying yourself. That’s really it.”

Nathan Woodruff, The George-Anne Managing News Editor, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu