Ben Jealous resigns as NAACP President, CEO
By Freddie Allen
WASHINGTON — Five years ago, Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, made two promises. The first was to the NAACP to help the organization get to the next level, revitalizing the mission and the relevancy of the storied civil rights group for the 21st century and old and new battles ahead. The second promise was to his then 3-year-old daughter that he would return to being a full-time daddy in five years. He says now is the time to keep that second promise.
“Leadership involves knowing when to step up, and when to step down,” Jealous said on a telephone call with reporters.
Looking back at his accomplishments, he mentioned how the annual revenue of the NAACP doubled from $23 million in 2007 to $46 million in 2012. Donors also increased from 16,000 to 132,000 over the same period. According to Jealous, the NAACP has more activists online (1.3 million) and on mobile devices (more than 430,000) than any other civil rights organization.
“We’re not just more powerful and more effective and larger, we are also financially solvent and more sustainable,” Jealous said with pride.
Detroit Branch NAACP issued a press release commending President Ben Jealous for his service to the organization.
“Under his leadership our membership numbers have increased. We have expanded our online and digital presence and we have continued advocacy around our core issues, among them voting rights, education and economic access to name only a few. We are also pleased with the work done under Jealous’ tenure that led to states such as Maryland removing the death penalty from their law books.”
Jealous said that once he steps down at the end of the year, he will dedicate more time at home being a dad, help train the next generation of leaders and work on a political action group that can help Black, Latino and other progressive candidates of color compete for leadership positions in the South.