Historic tour reflects the organization’s commitment to remaining progressive, and actively engaged in addressing the issues facing black America today
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched “NAACP Forward,” a national listening tour, at the organization’s 108th Annual Convention in Baltimore July 22.
The tour comes as part of the organization’s strategic plan for the future, enhancing its vision, mission and commitment to the fight for civil rights amidst a swirling climate of political hostility, voter suppression, income inequality, mass incarceration, police brutality and anti-immigrant sentiment.
“NAACP Forward” kicked off with key listening sessions at the Convention — including one with current NAACP branch state presidents and leadership from rural and urban communities across the country. It will continue with its first official stop on August 24th in Detroit for local membership, supporters and partners. The Michigan stop will be followed by a session in San Antonio, Texas, in September. NAACP leadership will visit a total of seven major cities across the country over the next few months for public meetings as well as smaller discussions in visits to glean the perspective of its membership, local community leaders, activists and others, continuing the series of critical discussions and action plans initiated at the Convention.
Earlier this year, the organization announced plans to embark upon a transformational course in this era of political and social derision which threatens to roll back decades of progress, and social and economic justice for millions of Americans.
“Our impetus for today’s NAACP is to effectively reach our dedicated staff and members, community organizers, activists, faith and business leaders, social justice advocates and others, to address the issues and challenges that face African Americans, and our communities,” said Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP national Board of Directors.
“I firmly believe that this Tour will expand our reach, touch our people, engage more diverse audiences and reinforce our focus on civil rights in this age of great political and social uncertainty,” said Derrick Johnson, vice-chair of the Board of Directors. “The national listening tour, “NAACP Forward,” is a critical step in looking ahead, and achieving our objectives.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.