February 21, 2010 in Nation/World

NAACP opting for younger leadership

Health executive follows Bond as chairman
Jesse Washington Associated Press
 

Brock
(Full-size photo)

NEW YORK – The NAACP elected a health care executive as its youngest board chairman Saturday, continuing a youth movement for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

Roslyn M. Brock, 44, was chosen to succeed Julian Bond. She had been vice chairman since 2001 and a member of the NAACP for 25 years.

Brock works for Bon Secours Health Systems in Maryland as vice president for advocacy and government relations, and spent 10 years working on health issues for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She joins Benjamin Todd Jealous, the 37-year-old CEO of the NAACP, as leader of the 500,000-member organization.

Brock said she plans to focus on pushing for policy changes to eliminate inequality, strengthening the relationship between the national and local NAACP branches, and holding people accountable.

The departure of Bond, 70, after 10 years as board chairman marks a turning point for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Bond came of age in the segregated South, helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and was on the front lines of the protests that led to the nation’s landmark civil rights laws. He is a symbol and icon of “the movement,” which was a defining experience for older generations.

In recent years the NAACP has endured criticism that it is old and out of touch. Then Bond brought in Jealous, then 34, as the NAACP’s youngest CEO, and endorsed Brock’s bid for board chairman.

The selection of young leaders “is deliberate, but it’s also fortuitous,” Bond said. “We are lucky to have had this confluence of a young CEO and a young chair. I don’t think we plotted and planned that in 2010 the stars would align this way.”

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