Original Event Marred by Appearance of President Donald Trump
Participants Include Congressmen Bennie Thompson, John Lewis, and Senator Cory Booker
BALTIMORE—(February 22, 2018) NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson joins a slate of African-American and progressive leaders for a 2-day celebration at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi to honor civil rights advocates and icons including Congressman John Lewis.
Organized by the Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights, Inc., the celebration will honor Congressman Lewis, Congressman Bennie Thompson and many others in a way that many felt compromised by President Donald Trump’s participation in the opening of the museum celebration. Trump’s record on civil rights is dismal and his presence drew the ire of current civil rights leaders, many of whom including Lewis, Thompson and NAACP President Derrick Johnson, boycotted the museum opening and held counter celebrations elsewhere in Jackson.
“It’s important that we honor our civil rights heroes and ancestors in a way that is consistent with the principles they stood for when they were alive,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Our heroes protested the Bull Connors of their day and it would be disrespectful to that legacy, if we did not stand against the enemies of civil rights.”
This weekend’s celebration will include the NAACP President Johnson, NAACP Mississippi State Executive Director Corey Wiggins, Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Lewis and others. Congressman Thompson will receive the Chairman’s Award and Congressman Lewis will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In a statement protesting Trump December visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, NAACP President Johnson said, “President Trump’s statements and policies regarding the protection and enforcement of civil rights have been abysmal, and his attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement. He has created a commission to reinforce voter suppression, refused to denounce white supremacists, and overall, has created a racially hostile climate in this nation.”
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 here.