Leaders of the nation’s largest civil rights group pledged to continue fighting for voting rights, health care, a higher minimum wage and immigration reform, even as the NAACP begins searching for a new president and CEO.
After suffering turbulent leadership changes and scandals in the past, NAACP board members said the 104-year-old group is poised for a smooth transition this time as it seeks to replace outgoing President Benjamin Jealous. He announced on Sunday that he would step down at the end of the year.
Chairwoman Roslyn Brock said the board is disappointed Jealous is leaving after five years but that the group remains energized on issues nationwide.
“The NAACP is alive, and it’s well,” Brock said. “We have a strategic plan in place that will help guide our work for the next 50 years.”
Brock said the NAACP’s board is forming a search committee to find someone to succeed Jealous.
Former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said there had been no indication at the board’s last meeting in July that Jealous would leave but added that leading the organization is an extremely difficult job.
In a written statement to The Associated Press, Jealous vowed the transition to a new leader would be orderly and planned. “Their success will be my success,” he said.