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Cornell William Brooks Replaces Benjamin Jealous as NAACP President

NAACP selects new president

Credit: J. Adams/AP

The NAACP has named Cornell William Brooks as its new president and CEO, eight months after former president Benjamin Jealous resigned.

NAACP chairwoman Roslyn Brock said that a majority of the organization’s board of directors selected Brooks during a meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday night.

The replacement comes after Jealous resigned to spend more time with his family.

Shortly after resigning, Jealous accepted an opportunity to become a venture capitalist with Kapor Capital and Kapor Center for Social Impact.

Now Brooks will step up in hopes of ending racial discrimination and tackling threats to voting rights.

In a phone interview with USA Today, Brooks said that he plans to “fight to ensure voting rights, economic quality, health equity and an end to racial discrimination for all people.”

The 53-year-old executive director of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and ordained minister said he was “profoundly grateful” to be selected as the NAACP’s new president.

“With today being the 60th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education … I’m a graduate of Yale Law School. I am an heir, a beneficiary, a grandson of Brown v. Board of Education. So as a consequence, I am an heir to the legacy of the NAACP,” he added.

Ben Jealous congratulates new NAACP president

Former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous

He went on to say that he would not be in the position if it were not for the “sacrifice of members past and present.”

Brock said that Brooks’ extensive background as a lawyer and an activist made him stand out as the right man for the job.

“Attorney Brook is a long-term lawyer, a human rights activist and a fourth-generation ordained minster, and so we look forward to leveraging his experience… and his keen vision,” she said.

Jealous released a public statement congratulating Brooks.

“This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for the NAACP,” Jealous said. “Cornell Williams Brooks has led an impressive career. I look forward to the association continuing its mission under his leadership.”

While Brooks has been selected as the new president, he will not officially take over until the end of July.

The NAACP will host a board meeting in Las Vegas where Brooks will officially begin serving as the new president.

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