A letter from the desk of
Lumbee Homecoming: Still Turning the Corner towards 50 Years!
Lumbee Homecoming: A Circle of Pride from 1968-2015!
Lumbee Homecoming is 47 years old and counting down to 50 years. In 1968 when Lumbee Homecoming was established by the local Lumbee Jaycees Chapter, the Town Of Pembroke and LRDA, Pembroke State University, now the University of North Carolina at Pembroke had the first Lumbee in its history at its helm, the late Dr. English Jones. I began as a student there in the summer of 1969.
This great institution was established by our ancestors in the late 1880’s and has always been a major source of pride and education for our people. This great source and center of our Lumbee circle of pride has been injected anew as we begin our 47th Homecoming celebration with a Lumbee back at the helm of “our” university as Chancellor elect Dr Robin Cummings will assume fully the chancellorship there on July 15th.
He has throughout his professional career been an exemplary role model for Lumbee youth, and now back here at home, he has raised that bar to new educational heights. He will be introduced at our Miss Lumbee Pageant as the new Chancellor elect, bringing our historical pride in our tribal educational achievements again to the fore-front and sending a message to our community and youth that advanced educational achievement can and will always drive our destiny, fueled we hope, in part, by Lumbee pride that Homecoming seeks to implant and grow in our community and tribal youth.
Lumbee Homecoming has played a significant role in our people’s renaissance of pride and tribal identity establishment, across our communities, in our county, state and nation after LRDA was born in the late 1960’s. Political achievements particularly were born with the unity and organization to get our people into key local, state and national positions. We began in the 70s to be an ethic voting block to be courted from the state Governor’s Mansion to the Congress and the White House, and as a people, we more and more began to see the importance of registering to vote and voting.
Lumbee Homecoming showcases our historic and current, educational, social, economic, political and cultural contributions to our communities, county, state and nation. These achievements would not have been possible without past and present leaders who were and are of a strong faith in God, and a strong work ethic, anchored in an individualistic, non-co-dependent Lumbee pride.
A new chancellor returning to “our” university and community, who is Lumbee, is a great source of pride for the board and staff of LRDA. Our partnership with the University in hosting major events on the campus during Lumbee Homecoming was strongly supported by Chancellor Kyle Carter up to his departure. But, Dr. Cummings selection as Chancellor brings our tribal pride renaissance circle to a new notch from 1968 when this Lumbee trademark event (Homecoming) began. Our Lumbee youth will always need and want role models in their lives. We are blessed as a people that God has provided over the generations strong leaders for our people and communities in which they live. We also believe that He has placed Dr. Cummings at this position, place, and time in our history. I personally welcome him; our agency welcomes him, and invites you during Lumbee Homecoming to meet and welcome him also.
We hope that you enjoyed all the events at Lumbee Homecoming 2015. On behalf of the Lumbee Regional Development Association Board of Directors and staff we appreciate your attendance and hope that memories were made for adults and our youth that will last a lifetime. .
James Hardin, MPA, Executive Director
Lumbee Regional Development Assoc. Inc.
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