NAACP President Cornell William Brooks will not return as the leader of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization after his contract expires this summer, officials said.
NAACP Board Chairman Leon W. Russell and Vice Chair Derrick Johnson will lead the organization until a new president is selected.
Russell and Johnson announced what they described as a “transformational, system-wide refresh and strategic re-envisioning” for the NAACP.
“We understand and appreciate the historic model of protest, but at this point in time we believe as an organization we need to retool to become better advocates, better at educating the public, better at involving them in our operation” and better at legislation and litigation, Russell said.
Russell, who praised Brooks’s leadership, said the NAACP will remain at the forefront of civil rights activism in the United States.
“However, modern-day civil rights issues facing the NAACP, like education reform, voting rights and access to affordable health care, still persist and demand our continued action,” he said.
A national search for a new leader is expected to begin this summer. In addition, the NAACP plans to embark on a “listening tour” this summer to solicit input on how the organization should reinvent itself.