Advancing Accountability, Climate, and Equity
Community Activist Shares Impact of Lifetime Work
Family values and service guide long-time work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Through her work as a civil rights activist and community leader, Ms. Ann Boney has been able to impact lives across the country and educate the university and Brazos Valley communities on Black Americans’ struggle for equality.
Ms. Ann Boney, who joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at an early age, has been the Brazos County Branch NAACP President for over 25 years and been a member for over 49 years. The NAACP is the home of grassroots activism for civil rights and social justice. According to the history published by NAACP, with more than 2 million members and 112 years of experience, the NAACP works to make sure Black voices are heard, demands are met, and Black excellence is amplified. In her pursuit for racial and multi-racial unity, Ms. Boney held the belief that one’s life impacts our service. Ms. Boney believed that honoring people’s histories makes our differences smaller and our similarities more profound.
President’s Council on Climate & Diversity Engagement
In her NAACP leadership capacity, Ms. Boney serves as a member of the President’s Council on Climate & Diversity (PCCD). She assumed the role from NAACP member Mary Broussard and joined the PCCD following her retirement from the Benz School of Floral Design in the Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. The purpose of the PCCD is to provide counsel to the President and the Provost and Executive Vice President on strategies for attracting and retaining culturally-diverse students, faculty, and staff to Texas A&M University and to strengthen, sustain, and promote our diversity efforts in support of Strategic Plan 2020-2025 priorities.
What is the inspiration for your NAACP and community service work?
Born and raised, in Amarillo, Texas, Ms. Boney was no stranger to racial discrimination and was the subject of discrimination at school and within her community. The NAACP was a large part of her household and community. However, despite the challenges she faced growing up, Boney pursued her calling to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights. “I am a servant,” Ms. Boney said. “What I do, I do because I like to be of service to whomever and whatever organization I am a part of.”
In 1985, she moved to the Brazos Valley and became more involved in the NAACP in a lead position. As a NAACP leader, most of the mail she receives comes from inmates. While most of the cases are not civil rights cases, Ms. Boney respects each one, researches the claim, and sends a response. She includes information that the organization works to seek the truth when someone’s civil rights are violated, provides any information pertaining to the claim, and explains the Branch does not have lawyers that work local cases.
What were you most surprised by in your position and service?
The most surprising aspect of her service is the lack of understanding that NAACP is a civil rights organization and the misconception that the NAACP was started by Black people or is only for Black people. Ms. Boney shared the fact that NAACP was started by a group of White people that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz who issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice following the deadly race riot of 1908 in Springfield, Illinois. According to the history published by NAACP, some 60 people, seven of whom were Black (including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell) signed the call.
What do you do in your free time?
Currently, Ms. Boney is retired from Texas A&M University and serves in her church. She continues to make a difference through offering NAACP literature and advice in organizational leadership to the NAACP student chapter at Texas A&M University. “We need to let our young people know they are needed. If we are going to make change,” Ms. Boney said. “We have to have those young minds that can bring and introduce some change for us.” Because she is such an influential leader in promoting equality and racial unification, no matter where she goes, Ms. Boney will continue to serve and leave a legacy in the community.
Crystal S. Carter