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Jeffrey Blanck (pictured), a civil rights attorney in Reno, Nev., has become the first non-Black leader of the Reno-Sparks NAACP in the branch’s 66-year history, according to the group’s web page this week. Blanck will be replacing outgoing President Lonnie Feemster, who has just completed his last of four two-year terms at the organization.

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Blanck’s involvement with the local NAACP has long been established, with the lawyer serving as the second vice-president and legal redress chair. A 27-year veteran, Blanck was moved to practice law after being inspired by the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s, according to his website. In a brief statement, Blanck spoke to the diversity of the branch he is soon to helm.

I am proud that our leadership and membership reflect the rich diversity of our community and our country,  said Blanck.

Outgoing president Lonnie Feemster added comments as well:

“I have worked with most of the incoming group and I know they are dedicated and committed to the work of the NAACP. I am proud to have served four terms as president of our local branch and will continue to work to reduce racial disparities and discrimination in our community,” Feemster said.

Feemster will still work for the NAACP in a reduced role as part of the branch’s executive committee and will remain the Nevada State Director for the NAACP National Voter Fund. Blanck, who will serve two terms will be sworn in today (January 4) at 6 p.m. PT along with other leaders.

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