Statement from NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond

As has been reported over the course of the past week, Bruce Gordon has resigned from the NAACP after a19-month tenure as President/CEO, effective March 4, 2007. On behalf of the NAACP, we support him in his decision and thank him for his service. Dennis Hayes, who has served as the General Counsel for the NAACP since 1990, will act as Interim President during the transition phase.

We have had only five CEOs in 60 years ? a good record for non-profit organizations. The CEO reported not to the full Board but to a small Executive Committee. As is standard procedure in every organization, the Board sets policy and the CEO is obliged to implement it.

We are naming a search committee to begin identifying potential candidates. We hope that the process will be swift, but our first priorities are assuring quality and the necessary diligence which this position demands.

In the interim, our members, partners, donors and other stakeholders should expect the NAACP to continue to move forward with our daily operations to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic rights of all people. Leadership transitions often mandate that we return to fundamentals; there is nothing more fundamental than the advancement, protection and enforcement of the rights we all have as citizens of the United States.

We recognize Mr. Gordon's departure has raised questions regarding the impact the transition will have on the NAACP. We understand these concerns. However, like most organizations that have built a legacy of achievement, we are larger than one individual and as we near our centennial, larger than one generation.

We know the NAACP will ultimately be assessed by how we help lead our country to a higher standard. We stand on 98 years of turning dreams into realities. Our efforts have made tangible improvements in the lives of millions.

We are an organization built on change. We have long fought for progressive social change, but we also believe in organizational change that enhances our effectiveness. We have always demonstrated a willingness to look within and challenge ourselves to be better so that we can push this nation to be better. The NAACP's National Board of Directors is committed to making our organization stronger and to working with our new leadership, our members and other partners to ensure that we are guided by a forward-looking perspective enriched by the lessons of our past.

We live in a world that values evolution and improvement, but unfortunately our country still faces many of the same challenges now we've faced throughout our history. The nuances may shift, but the core issues remain unchanged: poverty, a biased criminal justice system, denial of voting rights, unequal education, disparities in earning power and job opportunities, lack of healthcare. Ninety-eight years later, the NAACP is still fighting to eliminate the racism and prejudice that feed these inequalities and social ills. As long as these issues exist, the NAACP will exist as an aggressive force seeking to eradicate them.



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