Kermit Waddell: The Power of We
Hailing from a lineage of activists, Mr. Kermitt Waddell, Esq. has carved a remarkable legacy by embodying the philosophy that it Is not about “i ism” or “me ism,” but about “we-ism” and “us-ism.” His unwavering commitment to community-driven progress and inclusivity has left an indelible mark on his hometown of Charlotte. As a proud graduate of Second Ward High School, where his own uncle held the esteemed position of being the final principal, and a graduate of North Carolina Central Law School, Waddell’s path has been a profound embodiment of advocacy, education, and empowerment.
Rooted in his belief that collective efforts supersede individual interests, Waddell has been the guiding force behind his endeavors. Having spent his entire life in Charlotte, he possesses a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of its residents.
One of Waddell’s pivotal roles was as the inaugural director of the Minority Affairs Office within the county government. During his tenure, he demonstrated his commitment to empowering marginalized neighborhoods. He educated them about their representatives so they could navigate government for essential services and funding for neighborhood improvement.
After his impactful stint in the Minority Affairs Office, Waddell assumed the position of special assistant to the regional director for the Charlotte Regional Census office which covered five states including the District of Columbia. His efforts to promote accurate census counting became pivotal for the BIPOC community. Recognizing the mistrust surrounding the census, he established committees led by minorities to foster trust within communities. This approach yielded a more accurate census count leading to better allocation of government funds and resources for community betterment.
After leaving the census office, Waddell spent time working on various projects before being nominated by Congressman Mel Watt of Charlotte to serve on the African American Advisory Committee to the US Census Bureau. He was appointed to the committee by the Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and was elected chairperson. He chaired the committee for seven and a half years developing better strategies to communicate to various racial, ethnic and community groups to ensure that all persons were accurately counted.
For 18 years, Waddell served as the vice president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. This role epitomized his commitment to uplifting the underrepresented. Through his leadership, he advocated for justice, equality, and empowerment, aligning with the NAACP’s enduring mission.
Mr. Kermitt Waddell’s life is a testament to the power of “we-ism” and “us-ism.” His legacy is one of unity, empowerment, and positive change. Through his multifaceted contributions as a community organizer, census advocate, and NAACP leader, he has redefined the narrative of activism, emphasizing the collective journey towards a better future.