I am pleased to introduce myself to you as the new Chairman of the Board for the NAACP. As the NAACP begins its second century of advocacy, I feel the deep responsibility to put forward a civil and human rights agenda for the years ahead.
I’m proud to be a part of a younger generation, along with President and CEO Benjamin Jealous, that is taking on the leadership responsibilities of the NAACP. I’m also proud that I’ve been a part of the NAACP for 25 years, as a youth board member, Youth and College State Conference President, board member, and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.
The NAACP is, and always has been, a multiracial, multiethnic organization. When we talk about people of color, we are speaking of those people who have fallen through the cracks — those who have been left out of prosperous society. The agenda of the Association is to eliminate the disparities that prevent all Americans from achieving the “American Dream.” The NAACP will continue to champion civil and human rights issues that affect all Americans and, in particular, those which disproportionately affect communities of color.
Criminal Justice: The crisis of over-incarceration in this country is not only deeply unjust — it has been deeply unsuccessful. We must develop smarter strategies to keep our communities safe.
Health Care: Health care is a human right, and the NAACP will continue to fight for meaningful health care reform that benefits all Americans.
Economic Empowerment: We must help President Obama steer our nation back into economic health, and ensure that all Americans enjoy the benefits of living in a prosperous nation.
Civic Engagement: Engaged communities are safe and prosperous communities. Only an informed, empowered citizenry can bring stability and prosperity back to our communities.
As we advance these goals, we must also ensure that our policies, programs and politics remain relevant for a new generation of civil rights and human rights advocates. President Benjamin Jealous and I will prioritize the work of expanding our youth networks.
At the same time, we can never forget those who came before us. Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond and Myrlie Evers-Williams remain beacons in our struggle. Without the Bonds, the Evers, the Kings, and the Parks of the world, we would not be here, Barack Obama would not be president, and there would be no NAACP.
The future is calling and the NAACP is in a unique position to answer that call. With your help, we can build a better America together.
Roslyn M. Brock