We Shall Not Be Moved on Economic Justice

Your Take: An NAACP official responds to criticism that the rights group's focus needs updating.

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I publish weekly financial education columns for BET.com and appear monthly on national and local radio and television discussing economic fairness and opportunity. And updates on our department’s ongoing work are featured in our bimonthly newsletter, the Angle.

We recognize coalitions as fundamental to economically strengthening all Americans and partner with various economic organizations and communities. The NAACP helped coordinate the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington, D.C.; NAACP North Carolina was recently a leading force in the fifth annual HK on J march in North Carolina; and the NAACP was a co-convener of the We Are One conference in Phoenix. At We Are One, we convened African-American and Latino leaders nationwide to discuss a progressive economic agenda that strengthens bonds between black and brown communities.

This year the NAACP commemorates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Since the historic march, considerable gains have been made, but we cannot ignore the erosions in these gains: Racial economic inequality is at its highest in decades, with high black and brown unemployment, low homeownership rates and low wealth (pdf). 

And similar to both the National Action Network and the Urban League, we have placed these economic challenges at the forefront of our work, approaching them with pragmatism and also innovative solutions. But unfortunately, our contributions were not recognized in Jamal Simmons’ article.

So while Simmons and others are certainly entitled to their preferences regarding the title of our national convention, “We Shall Not be Moved,” I personally believe that at this particular point in time, the NAACP’s commitment to economic justice and greater racial inclusion has never been stronger.

Dedrick Muhammad is the senior director of the NAACP Economic Department.

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