Meet the SCNAACP Conference President
Mrs. Brenda C. Murphy was born in Ridgeway, South Carolina and currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina. She is the daughter of the late James and Julia Smith, the oldest of eight children. She is an individual who has a passion to serve others and chose to do so professionally and as an advocate for justice for all people. She received a bachelor of science and master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina, Columbia Campus.
Her professional experiences are varied, highlights include Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, Nurse Therapist for children and families and Adjunct Faculty appointments at SC State University, University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, and South University. Mentoring and teaching student nurses of the importance of being culturally sensitive and compassionate was always a priority throughout her nursing career. She served as a member of the United States Army Reserves Nurse Corp and obtained the rank of Major. Mrs. Murphy’s nursing roles included: clinical nursing, AOIC for the Physical Examination Team and Training Officer. She is a retired Department of Veterans Affairs nurse, beginning her career as a staff nurse and advanced to the position of Associate Chief Nurse at Brooklyn Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Brooklyn, N. Y., Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, SC and Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Columbia, SC.
She received numerous Awards and Recognitions, which include: Recipient of the National NAACP Juanita Jackson Mitchell Award for Legal Activism, for tremendous and ongoing efforts of the NAACP South Carolina State Conference in the areas of voting rights, redistricting, and housing advocacy efforts; the Director’s Leadership Award from the U. S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC; a recipient of the Columbia Urban League “Equity Leadership Honor Roll Award”; the Racial Justice Network “Triumph” Award; South Carolina BLCDEMS “Partners in Progress” award; Richland School District Two Black History Honoree; State Palmetto Gold Nursing Award; Commendation and Service Awards from the United States Army Reserve and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and many other awards/recognitions for her leadership ability. She currently serves as a board member of the United Way of South Carolina, the South Carolina Unitarian Universalist Justice Alliance and is a member of the American Red Cross Regional Diversity Committee. She was honored as one of the “50 MOST INFLUENTIAL” persons in Columbia, South Carolina for two consecutive years (2021 and 2022, published in “Business Monthly Columbia”). She is a member of the American Nurses Association and the SC Nurses Association; a Charter Member of the Delta Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Sorority.
Mrs. Murphy is a member of the Prince Hall Masonic family, she served in leadership roles in the following Prince Hall Organizations: Order of Eastern Stars, the Golden Circle and Ordie P. Taylor State Grand Assembly, Cairo Court and the Desert of South Carolina Daughters, and currently serves as Assistant Imperial Directress for Voter Registration and Education for the Imperial Court (an affiliate of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine of North and South American and its Jurisdictions, Incorporated).
Mrs. Murphy is the first female president for the NAACP South Carolina State Conference, in the organization’s eighty plus years of existence. She is a life member and began her advocacy journey more than 40 + years ago as a member of the NAACP Charleston Branch. She has served as the NAACP State Conference Health Committee Chairperson and the Youth and College Division Advisor working with youth and young adults. She is a member of the NAACP Columbia Branch.
Her mission is to “advocate for justice and equality for all people” within the context of the gamechangers identified by the NAACP National Leadership. The gamechangers provide the framework for advocacy work for State Conferences, Branches, College Chapters and Youth Councils. They include Health and Well-being, Education Innovation, Race and Justice, Advocacy and Litigation, Inclusive Economy, and Next Generation Leadership.