NAACP Chief Comes Full Circle
JACKSON, Miss. — His Last hurrah as President of the NAACP brings Benjamin Todd Jealous back to Mississippi where he started.
“It’s great to be back in my second home of Mississippi,” shouted an excited Jealous at the Mississippi NAACP 68th State Convention and Policy Institute Banquet Saturday night in Jackson.
It is the last speech Jealous would make as head of the NAACP. He resigns at the end of the year. “I am here tonight to say thank you to the leaders, present and past, in Mississippi for all they did to train me,” he said.
“Twenty years ago, I stood here with 1,500 students. We were marching down to the Governor’s Mansion and on to the Capitol to save Jackson State, Mississippi Valley and Alcorn. It was the biggest thing I had ever done. So there is no place I would rather be to say goodbye than really in a room with a lot of people who trained me.”
Jealous said he is leaving the NAACP stronger than the way he found it. “In a short period of time we were able to triple voter registration efforts and grow the network of activists who are organized under the umbrella of the NAACP.”
But there are important tasks remaining for the group. He said the organization needs to focus on several areas like defeating marriage inequality, HIV and voting rights.