Since Benjamin Todd Jealous announced this past week that he will be stepping down as president and CEO of the NAACP at the end of this year, the organization has moved swiftly to find his replacement. Representatives from various NAACP chapters and former leaders of the organization seek to make the transition as seamless as possible, reports the Associated Press.
The NAACP board is forming a search committee and plans to meet in late October to plan for the leadership change.
“My concern is identifying somebody who is energetic, familiar with this digital age and new technology, and, more importantly, who is able to go and continue to energize our thousands of chapters, or units as we call them, throughout this country,” said board member Ernest Johnson of Louisiana.
Leading a group with 64 board members and a long history is a job that requires a unique set of skills.
“First, you have to realize it’s not a job — it’s a lifestyle, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said board member Kamilia Landrum of Detroit. “You are representing and living for the movement. The pressure is hard. Every word you say is in the public eye. You have to be almost Baptist preacher, corporate America, or father and husband at the same time.”
None of the members interviewed put forth a name, but Chairman Roslyn Brock did stress the importance of finding a leader who sees the NAACP as more than just a black-interest civil rights organization.
“I think we need someone who appreciates that this is a long-term race that we have to be in … that the NAACP is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic organization. We don’t want to be a black organization,” Brock said.
Read more at ABC News.