The leader of the NAACP in North Carolina says he will remain in the role until his term ends in October, rather than step down this month as planned.
The Rev. William Barber said Sunday he will remain president until his replacement is elected at the NAACP’s convention. He announced plans last month to leave the post in June after 12 years at the helm to concentrate on a poor people’s campaign organizing in states nationwide.
State NAACP leaders last week called on Barber to reconsider, saying he’s needed as a “unifying voice” following U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions that upheld lower-court rulings that Republicans illegally drew dozens of districts based on race after the 2010 Census.
Barber reiterates he will not seek another term as president, but he will stay his entire term “for the stability of the movement in these transitional moments.”
Barber said the Supreme Court’s decisions and the possibility of drawing new lines and a potential special election this year “were not in the landscape” when he made his initial announcement.
“We are living in serious times, and because I have heard a call from people who are committed to these serious times, I’m willing to do my part,” he said.
Leaders of the new Poor People’s Campaign said in a joint statement they support Barber’s decision, saying what happens in North Carolina “will be vital to a moral revolution” across the country.
Barber had already planned to remain on the NAACP’s national board of directors and remain as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro.