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UPDATED: October 22, 8:55 ET:

As new threats to communities of color continue to flare up daily, the NAACP on Saturday named Derrick Johnson as president.

Johnson, a NewsOne Op-ed contributor, has held the interim position since July, replacing  Cornell William Brooks. Johnson and Leon Russell, NAACP board chairman, spoke with reporters on a conference call Saturday about the appointment.

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Johnson said he is eager to take up the mantle of the 108-year-old organization  civil rights organization “as it re-envisions itself to take on a tumultuous and contentious social and political climate.”

Russell said Johnson has proven himself as a strong and decisive leader.

“With new threats to communities of color emerging daily and attacks on our democracy, the NAACP must be more steadfast than ever before, and Derrick has the vision, mobility and courage to help us meet that demand,” Russell said in a statement.

Original Story:

NAACP Appoints Interim President And CEO

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has appointed Derrick Johnson as the organization’s interim president and CEO, USA Today reports.

Johnson, who serves at the helm of the NAACP’s Mississippi chapter, was unanimously chosen by the executive board to take on the role. Johnson was humbled by the fact that he was selected to lead the organization that has made major contributions to the progression of civil rights since its inception, the outlet reported. He said that he’s cognizant of the current state of politics and believes there is more work to be done.

“We are facing unprecedented threats to our democracy and we will not be sidelined while our rights are being eroded every day. We remain steadfast and immovable, and stand ready on the front lines of the fight for justice,” said Johnson in a statement, according to USA Today.

He’s reportedly considering hosting a national listening tour to reinvigorate the organization that was founded over 100 years ago, the outlet wrote.

Johnson, who is vice chairman of the NAACP national board of directors, is the founder of an organization called One Voice, which is centered on pushing for civic engagement to improve the lives of those from disenfranchised communities.

“I could not think of a better, more battle-tested or more qualified individual to guide the NAACP through this transition period,” Leon Russell, board chairman of the NAACP, told USA Today.

Johnson will serve as president and CEO until a permanent one is selected.

His appointment comes after the NAACP decided to remove Cornell William Brooks as president in May to find a leader who could guide the organization in a heated political climate.



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