NAACP President Won't be Returning as Leader

Pauline Gross
May 20, 2017

Cornell William Brooks is the current president of the NAACP.

"We believe as an organization, we need to retool to become better advocates, better at educating the pubic, better at involving them", Derrick Johnson, vice chairman of the NAACP board of directors, said in a conference call announcing the change.

A call to the organization's national headquarters in Baltimore was not immediately returned.

"The leadership of the NAACP has made a decision to implement an organization-wide refresh and strategic re-envisioning to determine how best to position the organization to confront head-on the many challenges of today's volatile political, media and social climates", the organization said in a statement. "To do so demands that the board of the NAACP ensure that organization has the right plan and the right leadership to address these 21st-century challenges".

NAACP President Cornell Brooks speaks on the eve of President Trump's inauguration outside Trump International Hotel and Tower in NY on January 19.

Brooks' dismissal comes as the 108-year-old NAACP is preparing to rebuild itself to face such issues as voter rights, environmental protection, education, police brutality and education, Russell said.

In the meantime, Russell and Johnson will handle day to day operations, they say, and carry out a listening tour.

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The NAACP found itself battling for attention from black youth with groups like Black Lives Matter, which rose to prominence behind street-level protests after the killings of African-American men and women by police, including 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

"We are not looking to correct something that is wrong, we are looking to improve", Russell said.

"I'm disappointed and mystified", Brooks said in a telephone interview.

"It's been two years and 11 months and in that time the NAACP has been unrelenting in our challenge to this administration and other opponents of civil rights", he said. Before taking this position, Johnson was the State President of the Mississippi NAACP and Executive Director of One Voice Inc.

Brooks was arrested earlier this year in Alabama at a protest against the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. "I've been proud to stand with him to resist and combat injustice", said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Brooks, the NAACP's 18th national president, replaced interim leader Lorraine Miller. After all, both Presidents Obama and Clinton attended this week's convention.

"There's been a revolving door of CEOs at the NAACP and this is a bad moment for it to be spinning", he said.

Other reports by GizPress

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