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With the recent resignation of NAACP President Ben Jealous (pictured), the organization finds itself looking for new leadership. In the organization’s 104-year history, a woman has never held the top post – but a new petition hopes to change that fact.

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A piece and petition launched by writer Michael H. Cottman delves in to why the NAACP needs to consider this radical change in light of Jealous stepping down. Jealous, who was the organization’s youngest president, resigned in order to spend more time with his wife and family. Although the rigors of the position are certainly demanding, Cottman feels it is prime time for a woman to lead.


After 104 years, the nation’s largest – and oldest – civil rights organization should evolve and move in to the future for the first time with a woman at the helm.

So now, as NAACP senior executives begin a national search for a new president, perhaps they only need to look down the hall where Roslyn Brock, the NAACP’s national chairman, works in her Baltimore office.

Cottman’s piece highlights that Brock, a 29-year-member of the NAACP, succeeded Julian Bond as the national chairman in 2010 and is the youngest person to do so. Brock is also the lead person that organizes the NAACP’s Leadership 500 Summit, which serves as a vast network of business leaders, educators, activists and other like minds.

Cottman cited Ebony magazine’s suggestions for potential presidents: Stefanie Brown James, a former national field director and youth and college director of the NAACP and the director of African-American voting for the Obama 2012 campaign;  Aisha Moodie-Mills, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; Maya Wiley, President of the Center for Social Inclusion; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and counsel-director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and former Bennett College president Julianne Malveaux.

In addition, a petition has been circulated entitled, “NAACP: Hire the First Woman President in the NAACP’s 104-Year History” and shares the text found in the report.

Sign the petition here.

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