Raymond G. Mullins Papers
 


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Raymond G. Mullins Papers

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Raymond G. Mullins manuscript collection held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Abstract:
Ypsilanti, Michigan attorney active in community affairs, particularly in areas of civil rights and minority education. President of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Ypsilanti-Willow Run Branch, 1981-1982 and 1987 to 1998. Correspondence, papers associated with his involvement in NAACP activities, documents relating to judgeship candidacy in 1992, printed material culled from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations, and papers documenting service to Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Biography:

Raymond G. Mullins is an attorney and community leader in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He has long been active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including trustee of the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. For two decades, Mullins was instrumental in garnering broad support for the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Under his leadership, the Ypsilanti and Willow Run branches merged, memberships more than doubled, the branch opened an office, youth programs thrived, and the organization won several awards at the national level for programming excellence.

Born in Detroit in 1943, Mullins grew up in Ypsilanti. After graduation from Ypsilanti High School, he studied economics and labor law at Howard University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1965. From 1966 to 1970, he served as an officer in the United States Air Force. Following honorable discharge, Mullins returned to Michigan to earn a law degree in 1973 at the University of Michigan. Since then he has practiced law in Ypsilanti and was a judicial candidate for the Washtenaw County Circuit Court in 1992.

During the early 1970s, Mullins was a leading force in integrating Perry School, the last segregated school in the city of Ypsilanti, becoming involved with the NAACP soon after opening his law practice in 1974. Active in branch committee work throughout the seventies, including membership, public relations, and education, he brought in new members, raised funds, and increased visibility for the organization by also working at the state level. Mullins served as president from 1981 to 1982 and again from 1987 to 1998. At the heart of his leadership was the belief that NAACP membership should include a cross section of the community -- business leaders, politicians, chamber of commerce members, area ministers. He worked to build a biracial organization and for community-wide response, all but abandoning his law practice after taking the helm. Tackling both controversial and popular issues, Mullins led initiatives in employment and education, stressed the need for children to know and understand their heritage, and encouraged political involvement. It was during his tenure, for example, that advocacy geared toward integrating a previously all-white judiciary in Washtenaw County met with success.

Mullins also built bonds in the community through his participation in Brown Chapel A.M.E. outreach, particularly in promoting and working for the annual Brotherhood Banquet. Originally initiated in 1953, when racial tensions were high, this annual event continues to bring people from across the region together to rededicate themselves to the cause of racial and religious goodwill and tolerance. In 1991 at that event, Mullins received the Service Award from Brown Chapel. The prior year he was named Man of the Year by Detroit's Minority Women's Network and won the Community Involvement Award from the Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce.

Although Mullins retired from the presidency of NAACP in 1998, he continues to carry on a family tradition of community involvement, even as he directs more of his energy toward his law practice. Both of his parents believed it was important to give something back to the community. In that tradition, and in their honor, Mullins established the Glenn and Laura L. Mullins Community Foundation, designed to advance educational opportunities for minority students.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.



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