NAACP's new leader an 'heir' of decision in landmark Brown v. Board of Education
WASHINGTON — As a Head Start and Yale Law School graduate, Cornell William Brooks calls himself a direct beneficiary of Brown v. Board of Education.
Now the lawyer and activist is taking over as the next national president and CEO of the NAACP, whose legal arm brought that landmark case challenging segregation in public schools.
On the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision that said separating black and white children was unconstitutional, the nation's oldest civil rights organization announced Brooks' selection.
The NAACP's board made the final decision on Friday night, and chair Roslyn Brock told The Associated Press about Brooks' new position on Saturday morning.
Brooks will be formally presented to the Baltimore-based organization's members at its national convention in Las Vegas in July.
“I am a beneficiary, an heir and a grandson, if you will, of Brown versus Board of Education,” Brooks said.
“My life is the direct product, if you will, of the legacy of the blood, sweat and tears of the NAACP and so today I'm particularly mindful that the NAACP has made America what it is, and certainly made my life possible and we are all grateful heirs of that legacy.”
Brooks, 53, of Annandale, N.J., will become the NAACP's 18th national president, replacing interim leader Lorraine Miller. Miller has served in that position since Benjamin Jealous ended his five-year tenure last year.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be entrusted with the opportunity to lead this powerful historic organization,” Brooks said in an interview. “In our fight to ensure voting rights, economic equality, health equity, and ending racial discrimination for all people, there is indeed much work to be done.”
Brooks, a minister, is originally from Georgetown, S.C. He is president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a Newark-based urban research and advocacy organization.
He graduated from Jackson State University, received a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology and got his law degree from Yale.
Brooks has worked as a lawyer for the Federal Communication Commission and the Justice Department. He ran for Congress as a Democrat in Virginia in 1998. He still owns a home in Woodbridge, Va.
“Mr. Brooks is a pioneering lawyer and civil rights leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the association,” Brock said. “We look forward to leveraging his legal prowess, vision and leadership as we tackle the pressing civil rights issues of the 21st century.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Oregon proposal would outlaw sneak photos up women’s skirts
- Shootings, slayings surge during Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, Baltimore
- More rain worsens flooding in Texas
- IRS says hackers stole tax info from 100,000
- ‘Free-range’ parents cleared of neglect
- 12 missing after flooding in Texas sweeps away vacation home
- Patriot Act deal looks unlikely
- Amtrak cameras to view operators
- Gouging rare in loans to troops
- Texas man charged with helping friend’s bid to join ISIS
- Federal appeals court declines to lift injunction on deportations