DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — Detroit native Derrick Johnson has been named president of the NAACP.
The announcement was made on Saturday with Johnson becoming the civil rights organization’s 19th president. Johnson had been serving as the interim leader since July and previously as vice chairman of the NAACP board of directors.
Johnson said the NAACP will be much more politically active in the coming years and will alter its nonprofit status so it can more effectively lobby for its members’ positions.
Johnson’s hiring was finalized Saturday at a meeting of the board of directors in Arlington, Virginia.
“In his time serving as our interim president and CEO, Derrick has proven himself as the strong, decisive leader we need to guide us through both our internal transition as well as a crucial moment in our nation’s history,” said Leon Russell, the NAACP board chairman. “With new threats to communities of color emerging daily and attacks on our democracy, the NAACP must be more steadfast and more immovable than ever before, and Derrick has the vision, mobility, and courage to help us meet that demand.”
The NAACP parted ways with its previous president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, in May.
Johnson has been the face of the NAACP since then as the organization has refocused its work on supporting its local chapters and tried to retool in the face of rising organizations like Black Lives Matter.
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