Anita L. Russell is currently serving her fifth two-year term as the President of the Kansas City, Missouri Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Under her stellar leadership, the membership of the branch has more than doubled to over 1,200. She has been a strong catalyst in bringing younger people into the expertise of long-term civil rights advocates. Anita is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors representing Region IV, serves as 2nd Vice President of the Missouri State Conference of Branches and is a Subscribing Gold Life Member of the Association.
Anita strongly believes in volunteerism and community involvement. She continues to live by her philosophy of life that “To whom much is given, much is required”, and “Service is the rent we pay for living”. She currently serves on the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Commission of Jackson County, to which she was appointed in 2005 for a six-year term by then Governor Bob Holden. In 2008, she was appointed by Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders to a three-year term on the Community Based Anti-Drug Tax (COMBAT) Commission. Anita serves on the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Advisory Council. In 2009, she was appointed by Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon to the Missouri Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census. She is an Official Deputy Registrar for the Kansas City Election Board and conducts voter registration for the NAACP, her church and sorority.
Anita retired as a manager in Network Operations from SBC/AT&T, with 37 years of service. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Business Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas.
Anita is a member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves on the Board of Stewards, is a member of the Lay Organization, Wednesday Noon Bible Study Class, and the Women’s Missionary Society and chairs the Commission on Membership and Evangelism. Anita is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Omega Chapter.
Anita has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to serving the community as an unpaid volunteer. Among the many awards which she is most grateful to have received is the Kansas City Globe’s 2009 100 Most Influential African Americans in Greater Kansas City, Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2) 2009 Equity Partner of the Year, the City of Kansas City, Missouri 2009 Outstanding Service Social and Civic Group Award, Metropolitan Baptist Church Congregation 2009 award for outstanding contributions and devoting time to others, St. Augustine Episcopal Church 2008 Community Leadership Award, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church 2008 Certificate of Appreciation for Civil Rights and the St. Louis, Missouri Martin Luther King Dream Conference 2008 King Woman of the Year Award. She is especially proud of the 2003 Roland Alexander Branch President of the Year Award presented by NAACP Region IV.
Anita is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. She has been married to Joshua K. Russell for 36 years. As a member of the Black Literature Awareness Book Club (B-LAC), she enjoys reading, crocheting along with shopping.