SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)- The NAACP was founded in Sioux City in 1937. Since then, their goal has been to help the community improve.

“I have always been a member of the NAACP, even from a youth I remember being in Dallas, Texas, where I’m originally from, serving in a capacity,” said Ike Rayford, President of the Sioux City NAACP.

When he moved to Sioux City, roughly 30 years ago, Rayford started off working in the media for 14 years. It wasn’t too long after that, he decided to join the Sioux City NAACP.

“I came in and I believe Richard Haze was the president at that time, but I started leadership stuff under Flora Lee. I served as her vice president for a number of years, and when she decided that it was time for her to kinda step outta that spotlight. I was graciously elected and took over that mantle,” said Rayford.

Back in 2018, Rayford became the president of the organization. When he first took the position, he said he recalls feeling ill-prepared.

“When you’re a member, you kinda focus on the things that are of interest to you. Like I said for me it was always doing the pr stuff, writing press releases. Well, when you become the president, everything does fall on your shoulders and that’s kinda the mechanism that has been set up for the national officers. So really understanding, you know, what we’re looking at and what we’re fighting for, what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Rayford.

For roughly 5 years, Rayford has spent his time in office improving the community, making sure every person’s voice is heard. He says this is just one of his many goals he wants to accomplish. 

“A goal of mine is to always build our membership. We maintain, we’ve been steady. We have a great group of people who are very supportive and we keep getting members, and so our goal for 2023 is to build our youth chapter up so that we can continue to have that flow,” said Rayford.

Rayford says the Sioux City black community has grown dramatically since he first arrived 30 years ago.