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Looking to the Future, NAACP Names a New Leader

NAACP leader
Derrick Johnson - new NAACP leader

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest civil rights organization Saturday elected Derrick Johnson, 49, of Jackson, Mississippi to lead it into the future as its president and Chief Executive.



Over the past few years, the organization has been looking for ways to connect with millennials and the newer generation, and believes it has found the right person to lead them into that future.

Before his elevation to the top post, Jackson has been the interim president and CEO of the organization since July of this year. Johnson’s appointment was finalized at the board of directors meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

RELATED: Trump Rejects Opportunity to Address NAACP Convention, Again.

Following his appointment, Johnson told the media that the NAACP wants to put less emphasizes on status for its nonprofit and play a bigger role by being more politically active in the coming years.






“The job of the NAACP is to really engage in a political landscape to lift up the needs and interest of the community we represent,” Johnson said. “When our members speak in a collective voice our national office should also speak in tandem with the collective public policy voice.”

Johnson said he wants the NAACP to be able to effectively lobby for its members’ positions.

Leon Russell, NAACP’s board chairman said that Johnson’s time as the interim president and CEO for the organization have allowed others to see him as strong and decisive to lead the organization in this crucial moment in American  history.

“In his time serving as our interim president and CEO, Derrick has proven himself as the strong, decisive leader we need to guide us through both our internal transition, as well as a crucial moment in our nation’s history. With new threats to communities of color emerging daily and attacks on our democracy, the NAACP must be more steadfast than ever before, and Derrick has the vision, mobility and courage to help us meet that demand,” said Leon Russell.

“As both a longtime member of the NAACP, and a veteran activist in his own right – having worked on the ground to advocate for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, along with championing countless other issues – Derrick also intimately understands the strengths of the Association, our challenges and the many obstacles facing black Americans of all generations today. I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role,” he added.



Johnson, a Detroit native, who was elected vice-chairman of the Board of Directors in February of this year, is a longtime member, leader and a respected veteran activist who “will be tasked with guiding the NAACP through a period of tremendous challenge and opportunity at a key point in its 108-year history. The NAACP has undergone transitions in leadership this year as it re-envisions itself to take on a tumultuous and contentious social and political climate. He will have a three-year term,” NAACP said in a statement following Johnson’s appointment as president.

The NAACP has made efforts to refocus its support on local chapters and repair its name among new organizations such as Black Lives Matter.

NAACP will change its non profit status, becoming a 501(c)4 nonprofit which will allow it to conduct countless lobbying and promotions of political candidates and issues. It is currently under 501(c)3 which limits its lobbying efforts.

“The change will happen so we can have the collective voice and impact that a civil rights organization in 2017 and forward should have.” Johnson said.

Johnson said that transferring from 501(c)3 to 501(c)4 will allow NAACP  to clearly state without equivocation its positions and encourage members and communities to do the same.

The NAACP will hold listening tours in Los Angeles and Nashville TN starting November. The listening tour will allow the organization to figure out the best way to support civil rights workers in communities. The topics for the listening tour will include: police brutality, the upcoming census, and redistricting and voter suppression.

“Local chapters want to be able to have a stronger voice.” Johnson said. “And the national NAACP wants to be able to better support our members on the ground.” He said.

SEE ALSO: Fox News Taken By Fake Navy SEAL.

The Trump administration is currently being sued by the NAACP for trying to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which allows illegal immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children to temporarily be shielded from deportation.

“The job of the NAACP is to really engage in a political landscape to lift up the needs and interest of the community we represent,” Johnson said. “When our members speak in a collective voice our national office should also speak in tandem with the collective public policy voice.”

Former NAACP CEO and president Cornell William Brooks left the organization in May.

 

 

Contributor, The Liberal Advocate News

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