WORCESTER, Mass. (AP)—NAACP Worcester has elected an openly gay man as its new president as the group seeks to revive itself following five years of inactivity.
Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University, was elected Saturday with a slated of new officers. The 28-year-old says he hopes that as an openly gay man he can help the storied civil rights group address long-ignored gay and lesbian issues in minority communities.
I think for the NAACP to be alive and effective, it has to retool,” said Perry, who begins a two-year term. “This is a human rights organization and we need to address the needs of all marginalized groups.”
Perry also said that most on the newly elected Worcester board are 40 years of age, signaling a generational shift within the NAACP.
Perry said in the coming months the Worcester chapter hopes to highlight the lack of minority elected officials in the city. Around a third of the city’s residents are minorities, but the all members of the Worcester’s 12-member city council are white.
Perry’s election marks the second time a Massachusetts NAACP chapter elected a young candidate to revive local group. In November, 42-year-old attorney Michael Curry was elected over 73-year-old ex-state Sen. Bill Owens to lead the Boston chapter.