New York —The nation’s most prominent civil rights organization announced today during its annual national board meeting in New York, a strategic restructuring which better positions the organization to lead the critical policy advocacy and social justice work needed to ensure the rights of all people. The group also signed memoranda of understanding with several African American organizations designed to expand its capacity to engage Black voters nationally.
“The NAACP is a membership-based advocacy organization with 2,220 branches and a unique and incomparable ability to drive change at the local, regional, and national levels. The current political and policy climate demands an NAACP that is agile and responsive in the face of the serious challenges confronting communities of color, including the continued assault on voting rights and foundational threats to democracy,” said Derrick Johnson, President of the NAACP.
This new structure will enable the Association to deploy resources efficiently as conditions on the ground dictate, to employ a research-based approach to civic engagement, and to ensure closer alignment between National Office staff and NAACP branches across the country.
Over the past two years, the NAACP has pursued a relentless strategy of rebuilding traditional relationships and establishing new ones as a means of consolidating its position as the most powerful civic engagement group in the African American community. This year, a key part of that strategy is “partnership.”
“During our long history, the NAACP functions at its highest capacity when our partnerships with our allies, including those in our community and those with whom we have a strategic alignment, are operating with their highest potential,” said NAACP National Board Chairman Leon W. Russell.
“Today we simultaneously embarked on an internal restructuring which positions of to evolve as an organization in ways which allow us to maximize our partners and strategic alliances in ways that empower our community,” added Chairman Russell.
During its annual meeting, the 64 member National Board of Directors also signed a number of memoranda of understandings (MOU’s) with key allies including the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. which is now requiring its members also hold membership in the NAACP, Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority, Inc, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), NID Housing, and the National Organization of Blacks Law Enforcement Executives (N.O.B.L.E), the nation’s leading law enforcement association for African Americans.
These MOU’s are also designed to expand engagement of Black voters regionally, statewide and locally on education & outreach, civic engagement, issue area advocacy priorities, leadership development, membership and community building.
The NAACP celebrates its 110th Anniversary as well as on March 30th – the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles. This year also marks the 400 anniversary of enslaved Africans landing on the shores of what is now Hampton, Virginia. As part of its legacy to this historical struggle the NAACP will participate in the Year of Return in Accra, Ghana later this year as a means of connecting the past struggle with the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice for all people of color in the African Diaspora.
“In the 21st Century the NAACP will counter the strategies of those seeking to reduce our political power, economic independence or value as contributors to society by not only fighting harder but fighting smarter,” added President Johnson.