NAACP Returns to United Nations for CERD to Discuss Critical Civil Rights Issues

Leon Russell, Vice Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors; Hilary O. Shelton; Senior VP Policy and Advocacy and Director of Washington Bureau, NAACP; Jotaka Eaddy, Sr. Director of Voting Rights and Senior Advisor to President and CEO & NAACP

NAACP leaders return to Geneva for the United Nations review of the United States’ progress on its obligations to reduce racial discrimination and disparities under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). CERD obligates member nations to take steps to reduce racial and ethnic discrimination and disparities within their borders.

From Leon Russell, Vice Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors:
“The struggle to reduce all forms of racial discrimination cannot be fought in isolation. It must extend to every corner of the earth. Our time at the United Nation’s this week has amplified our efforts to advance human and civil rights for all people, no matter their nationality, race, color or creed.”

From Hilary O. Shelton, Sr. Vice President for Policy and Advocacy; Washington Bureau Director:
“The NAACP is honored to join the international NGO community in taking meaningful steps toward reducing racial discrimination and racial disparities particularly as they impact the communities we serve. Our participation in this proven process is one pioneered by NAACP founding member Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, who recognized the power of shining an international bright light on the many challenges of racial and ethnic discrimination in America.  Dr. Dubois understood then, as we recognize now, that racial and ethnic disparities which permeate our criminal justice system, our education systems, our economic system and our access to the ballot box is of crucial importance and must eradicated. We are further gratified with the selection of long time civil, native and human rights advocate Keith Harper, newly confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, leading the official US government delegation through this crucial review process.  The NAACP and our coalition partners are confident that the U.S. delegation will fully recognize the need for our country to continue the process of eliminate these racist and deadly equations and advance or Nation forward in fulfilling the Constitutional promises of our country for all Americans.
From Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Sr. Director for Voting Rights and Sr. Advisor to the President and CEO:
“We are pleased that UN CERD Committee raised serious questions regarding the continual denial of voting rights to citizens in the U.S., specifically the continued practice of baring people with felony convictions to vote. Furthermore, we are encouraged by the UN CERD Committee's expressed concern with the discriminatory nature of voting laws implemented in the aftermath of Shelby County vs. Holder. These failings continue to diminish our democracy and violate the principles within the CERD Treaty. They must be addressed immediately. We will continue to work with the UN and the US Government to address these concerns.”

Read the NAACP shadow reports to the United Nations Committee here:


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 five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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