the Rev. Philip Cousin Jr.

The Rev. Philip Cousin, a former Durham county commissioner and member of the Durham school board, was elected Thursday as the new chairman of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.

Cousin, the pastor of St. Joseph’s AME Church, replaces Lavonia Allison, who has served as chairwoman of the influential committee for the past 14 years. Allison announced late last month she wouldn’t be seeking another term.

Long-time Committee member Larry Hester also sought the position. Neither Cousin nor Hester could be reached for comment.

According to a statement from the Committee, Randal Rogers will serve as the first vice chairman and former County Commissioner Deborah Giles will serve as the second vice chairwoman. Wanda Waiters will be installed as the third vice chairwoman.

Other positions are as follows:
Executive Secretary: Paulette Morrison-Danner
Recording Secretary: Pauline Fitzpatrick
Economic Committee Chairwoman: Kimberly Moore

Education Committee Chairwoman Debra Bryson

Health Committee Chairperson: Terry Morris

Additionally, Andre Vann, an archivist at N.C. Central University, was elected as the chairman of the political action committee, and state Board of Transportation member Chuck Watts will serve as the vice chairman of the political committee.

Keith Bishop, who files state finance reports for the political committee, will serve as chairman of the Legal Redress Committee.

Cousin may make recommendations for other positions that have yet to be filled. The officers will be installed in January.