COMMENTARY: After 104 Years, It’s Time For a Woman to Lead NAACP

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    It’s time for a radical change at the top: The next president of the NAACP should be a woman.

    After 104 years, the nation’s largest – and oldest – civil rights organization should evolve and move into the future for the first time with a woman at the helm.

    From Benjamin Hooks, to Benjamin Chavis, to Kweisi Mfume, to Benjamin Jealous, it’s not only time for the NAACP to elect a woman president, but there shouldn’t be another NAACP president named Benjamin either.

    The top job is open because Benjamin Todd Jealous, the youngest president ever elected to lead the NAACP, will resign on Dec. 31 saying he wants to spend more time with his wife and children.

    “Leadership knows when to step up and when to step down,” Jealous said. “This day I can say with pride that I’m prepared to step down and make room for the next person who will lead this organization to its next chapter.”

    So now, as NAACP senior executives begin a national search for a new president, perhaps they only need to look down the hall where Roslyn Brock, the NAACP’s national chairman, works in her Baltimore office.

    “The NAACP is alive, and it’s well,” said Brock, who joined the NAACP in 1984. “We have a strategic plan in place that will help guide our work for the next 50 years.”

    Brock, a loyal NAACP foot solider for 29 years, is the youngest person to serve as national chairman, having succeeded Julian Bond in 2010.

    Since 2005, Brock has been the NAACP’s point person for the organization’s Leadership 500 Summit. The summit, which was founded by Brock, welcomes hundreds of executives, educators, managers, thought leaders, community organizers and aspiring leaders for a chance to network and engage with civil rights organization.

    “Leadership 500 has established itself as the leading forum for business, non-profit and community leaders to tap into the world of advocacy and social justice,” said Brock, a smart, can-do leader who works tirelessly.

    “We encourage conversation that challenges our current assumptions and makes us rethink the landscape of the modern-day civil rights movement,” she added. “Year after year, attendees leave with a sense of purpose and a plan to contribute to their communities in a meaningful way.”

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