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John Bowman, St. Louis County NAACP president, named ‘Citizen of the Year’

John Bowman, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, was recently named “Citizen of the Year” by the Upsilon Omega Chapter of Omega Phi Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

“I am so thankful, honored, and humbled to receive such an acknowledgment from the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Upsilon Omega Chapter,” Bowman told The Missouri Times.

Typically, the award goes to a non-member, but Bowman, who is a member, was an exception this year. He has already been awarded the 2015 Omega Man of the Year and 2014 Superior Service Award. 

Bowman has worked in the Missouri Legislature — first as a representative for HD 70 and then as the chief of staff for Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in SD 5. He also was a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and a 25-year member of the United Auto Workers.

Bowman now serves as the president of the St. Louis County NAACP. He was elected vice president in 2018 and then served as acting president during a transitional period for the organization. He was elected president in November 2019 and credits his work with the organization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for having received the award. 

Under Bowman’s leadership, the organization has worked to ensure testing was available for many underserved communities in the county, held virtual town halls to address how the pandemic affects the Black community in North County, and partnered with Epworth Children and Family Services in launching a food distribution program. The goal of these efforts was to speak truth to power in underserved areas, said Bowman.

“My journey of service is really a credit to my parents,” Bowman said, noting they inspired him when he was younger by taking on causes and issues on behalf of the world’s underdogs.