NAACP president to leave office as group undertakes changes

NAACP president to leave office as group undertakes changes

NAACP president to leave office as group undertakes changes

After three years in the position, NAACP President Cornell Brooks was voted out by the organization's national board on Friday, as they pledge a "systemwide refresh" and "strategic re-envisioning" to best position the historic civil rights organization to "confront the realities of today's volatile political, media and social climates".

Brooks told The New York Times Friday that he was "baffled" by the decision.

In the meantime, the group will start searching for a new leader, while Chairman of the board, Leon W. Russell, and Vice-Chairman, Derrick Johnson, oversee the organization's day-to-day operations. The group, which has been eclipsed in many ways by the more youthful Black Lives Matter movement and the broader opposition to Mr. Trump, is embarking on a national listening tour of cities across the nation to get ideas about how it can remain relevant.

While Brooks has been present at social justice demonstrations across the country, Russell says the board is looking for a leader who can focus on strengthening the local chapters and navigating local, regional and state policymaking processes.

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"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 told the Times.

Brooks recently spearheaded the group's opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

Brooks said that, including interim leaders, he was at least the 10th head of the NAACP in 15 years.

The NAACP has chose to remove its president in an attempt at changing the organization's leadership to better combat civil rights issues during Donald Trump's presidency.

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

Brooks is expected to leave the civil rights organization at the end of June when his contract expires.

Yet some of the organization's critics have said that Brooks has struggled to continue some of the progress made under his predecessor, Ben Jealous, who they say turned around a period of declining membership and supported public conversations about the maintain organization's relevancy in the 21st century. "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. After all, both Presidents Obama and Clinton attended this week's convention.

In the wake of Trump's election, civil rights organizations have raised concerns about the administration's willingness to protect black and Latino voting rights, stem the tide of predatory financial products that target consumers of color, and address criminal justice and education disparities.

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"It is critical that the NAACP has the most dynamic and creative activist leadership during the Trump era", said McLaughlin. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.

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