National NAACP president
When Jotaka Eaddy was a teenager working at McDonalds she read a newspaper article about a 16-year-old who was going to be put to death. This article inspired her to take action and over the course of the next 10 years she worked with the NAACP leading grassroots efforts to eliminate the juvenile death penalty in numerous states.
The Supreme Court went on to abolish the juvenile death penalty in 2005 and today Eaddy has moved on to become the senior director for voting rights of the NAACP and special assistant to the president and CEO of the NAACP. The organization’s president, Benjamin Jealous, told Eaddy’s story to a group of local high school students on March 13, hoping to inspire them too to join the NAACP movement.
“We believe that in this room are people who will be great leaders,” Jealous said. “Think of all the Black parents listening to their children say I want to be president and knowing that just couldn’t be. Think of all the fathers listening to their daughters say I want to be president and knowing that just couldn’t be. Your generation is the first one where that is possible.”