Press Release


July 22, 2017

Historic tour reflects the organization’s commitment to remaining progressive, and actively engaged in addressing the issues facing black America today


BALTIMORE (July 22, 2017) – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is set to launch NAACP Forward, a national Listening Tour, at the organization’s 108th Annual Convention on Saturday, July 22nd at the Baltimore Convention Center. NAACP Forward comes as part of the organization’s strategic plan for the future, enhancing its vision, mission and commitment to the fight for civil rights amidst a swirling climate of political hostility, voter suppression, income inequality, mass incarceration, police brutality and anti-immigrant sentiment.

NAACP Forward will kick off with key listening sessions this weekend at the Convention—including one with current NAACP branch state presidents and leadership from rural and urban communities across the country. It will then embark upon its first official stop on August 24th in Detroit, Michigan for local membership, supporters and partners. The tour stop in Detroit will be followed by a session in San Antonio, Texas in September, with NAACP leadership visiting a total of seven major cities across the country over the next few months. Logistical details for each tour stop will be released in the coming weeks.

Along with these public meetings, NAACP Forward will also include smaller discussions in visits to the tour cities to glean the perspective of its membership, local community leaders, activists and others, continuing the series of critical discussions and action plans initiated at the Convention. Earlier this year, the NAACP announced that it would be embarking upon this transformational course in an era of political and social derision which threatens to roll back decades of progress, and social and economic justice for millions of Americans.

“Our impetus for today’s NAACP is to effectively reach our dedicated staff and members, community organizers, activists, faith and business leaders, social justice advocates and others, to address the issues and challenges that face African Americans, and our communities,” said Leon W. Russell, chairman of the NAACP national Board of Directors.

“I firmly believe that this Tour will expand our reach, touch our people, engage more diverse audiences and reinforce our focus on civil rights in this age of great political and social uncertainty,” stated Derrick Johnson, vice-chair of the Board of Directors. “The national Listening Tour, NAACP Forward, is a critical step in looking ahead, and achieving our objectives.”


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting