The NAACP is overhauling itself from the inside out. And changes are being wrought at the top.
Cornell Brooks, CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People since 2014, will not have his three-year contract renewed when it expires at the end of June, according to Leon Russell, NAACP Chairman.
Last week the more than a century-old organization announced “a transformational, system-wide refresh and strategic re-envisioning.” “In the coming months, the NAACP will embark upon a historic national listening tour to ensure that we harness the energy and voices of our grassroots members, to help us achieve transformational change, and create an internal culture designed to push the needle forward on civil rights and social justice,” said Derrick Johnson, vice-chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors.
Recalibrating, the organization intends to more aggressively and nimbly respond to the current climate of political unrest, as well as the assaults upon human and civil rights that threaten democracy with a seat for everyone at the table – including the millions of grassroots marchers who have taken to streets for women rights and immigrant rights, activists who are fighting for equality for the LGBTQ Americans, business leaders and philanthropists lending private sector support, and the long-time civil rights advocates.
Board Chairman Leon W. Russell and Vice Chair Derrick Johnson, who were elected to their current positions in February 2017, will manage the organization on an interim basis until a new leader is named.
“Our organization has been at the forefront of America, making tremendous strides over the last hundred years,” said Russell. “However, modern day civil rights issues facing the NAACP like education reform, voting rights and access to affordable health care, still persist and demand our continued action. These changing times require us to be vigilant and agile, but we have never been more committed or ready for the challenges ahead. We know that our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters expect a strong and resilient NAACP moving forward, as our organization has been in the past, and it remains our mission to ensure the advancement of communities of color in this country.”
The NAACP Georgia did not immediately respond to requests for comment at presstime.