NAACP Mourns Passing of Board Member Nate Gooden

November 8, 2006

The NAACP mourns the passing of Nate Gooden, a member of the NAACP Board of Directors and the former vice president of the United Auto Workers. Gooden, a dedicated unionist who retired from UAW in June after more than 40 years, was one of three NAACP board members from Michigan. He died yesterday in Detroit. He was 68.

NAACP President & CEO Bruce S. Gordon, said: "Nate Gooden was a real power player. He was a committed labor leader as well as a DaimlerChrysler Board member. He used his position to advance workers' rights and civil rights. He's a man who made his mark."

The Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP and pastor of the Fellowship Chapel, said funeral services for Gooden are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. in the church at 7707 W. Outer Drive in Detroit. Gooden was a member of the Detroit branch's executive committee. Anthony said, "Gooden was one of the last of an era of labor leaders who was able to match grass-roots with professional fruit."

Gooden was elected to the Board in February 2003. Board member Clayola Brown said Gooden "played an integral role in helping to land DaimlerChrysler as the title sponsor of the 2005 NAACP Image Awards." The NAACP presented Gooden with an honorary Image Award when he retired earlier this year, said Brown, Chairman of the NAACP Image Awards Committee.

Gooden was elected vice president of UAW in 1999, heading the DaimlerChrsyler and UAW Heavy Truck departments. He also served as the UAW's representative on the supervisory board at DaimlerChrysler. He joined the UAW in 1964 at Chrysler's Warren Truck Assembly plant, according to the union.

The union credited Gooden with leading the organization of DaimlerChrysler's Freightliner division with plants in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The effort was the largest organizing campaign in the manufacturing sector in recent U.S. history, the union said.

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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