NAACP taps in­terim leader, sets tour

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

BAL­TI­MORE — The NAACP an­nounced a new in­terim leader Satur­day, as well as a na­tion­wide lis­ten­ing tour in which rep­re­sen­ta­tives will talk to mem­bers at the lo­cal level about what the fu­ture of the na­tion’s old­est civil-rights or­ga­ni­za­tion should be.

Der­rick John­son, the vice chair­man of the NAACP board of di­rec­tors, will serve as in­terim pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, of­fi­cials an­nounced at the 108th na­tional con­ven­tion in Bal­ti­more.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, and we won’t waste any time get­ting to it,” John­son said.

John­son, as the new voice of the NAACP, will be one of the faces of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s lis­ten­ing tour across the coun­try. Leon Rus­sell, the NAACP’s na­tional board chair­man, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion needs to fig­ure out how best to sup­port civil-rights work­ers on the ground in com­mu­ni­ties that are work­ing to ad­dress is­sues such as po­lice bru­tal­ity, the up­com­ing cen­sus, re­dis­trict­ing and voter sup­pres­sion.

Talk­ing with lo­cal mem­bers will help them fig­ure out how to “ad­dress the is­sues and chal­lenges that face African-Amer­i­cans and our com­mu­ni­ties,” Rus­sell said.

The first stop on the lis­ten­ing tour will be in Detroit on Aug. 24, fol­lowed by San An­to­nio in Septem­ber, of­fi­cials said.

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