NAACP president won't be returning as leader

Claudine Rigal
Mai 20, 2017

The NAACP, America's oldest civil rights group, is replacing its president, Cornell William Brooks, and planning a "transformational retooling", according to the group's board of directors.

Mr. [Cornell William] Brooks, who said in an interview that he was "baffled" and saddened by the decision, will leave the organization at the end of June when his contract expires...

President and CEO of the NAACP Cornell Brooks listens to remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on October 27, 2015.

"These changing times require us to be vigilant and agile, but we have never been more committed or ready for the challenges ahead", NAACP board chairman Leon W. Russell said in a statement.

The NAACP is dismissing its president as the biggest US civil rights organization tries to recast itself to strengthen its advocacy role and better support local activism, officials said on Friday.

The national board of the NAACP is expected to vote to dismiss its president, The New York Times reports.

As part of that commitment, the NAACP Board also announced today that they will embark on a listening tour, for the first time in its history.

Explaining the choice to replace Brooks, Russell and Johnson didn't identify a particular thing that Brooks had done wrong - or even one thing that the NAACP, as a whole, had been doing wrong.

Brooks, a lawyer and minister, said membership and donations had increased during his tenure and NAACP lawyers had won nine court cases in 10 months over voter suppression. It was not immediately known what his future plans were.

Catherine Flowers, founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise, an organization that advocates for poor and black people living in rural areas, said she wasn't surprised at the coming change.

"I would like to see the NAACP be more nimble when it comes to civil rights challenges", said Levy-Pounds, an attorney and leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, who is now campaigning for mayor of Minneapolis.

Brooks also staged a Justice Tour - holding events around the country to discuss social justice concerns - and led a seven-day protest march from Ferguson, Missouri, to the state capitol building to protest the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by a police officer. Ernest L. Johnson Sr., president of the NAACP Louisiana State Conference, invited Brooks to visit Baton Rouge less than a week after a white police officer shot and killed a black man during a struggle outside a convenience store past year.

Johnson said Brooks met with Sterling's relatives and during a rally outside Baton Rouge's City Hall, said he was exhausted of victims of police shootings being treated as "hashtag tragedies" instead of human beings mourned by their families.

"We have to work together with other folks, young folks, old folks, in-between folks to ensure that we stop the kind of cynicism, the kind of relapse to a bad old situation that Trump represents", Russell said. "He's very energetic. Whenever we needed him in the state of Louisiana, he came to Louisiana".

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