Press Release


October 4, 2018 / By Array

NAACP President Derrick Johnson, in partnership with allied organizations, will execute messaging, tactics to reach & empower Black voters


WASHINGTON – With less than 40 days until the critical midterm elections, the NAACP unveiled an ambitious civic engagement strategy, underway for several months, to target low and moderate propensity voters, increase and maximize the Black vote, and effectively engage a population that will ultimately have the power to influence the outcome of the midterms and elections to come.

“In order to become a potent political force, the black community must build a political infrastructure that will vote in both Presidential and non-Presidential elections and at all levels of the ballot,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “If all eligible members of the community rise to the challenge and vote, we control the fate and future of our community. Stated more directly, we must vote in far greater numbers because our lives, our very existence depends on it.”

The NAACP worked with GSSA, LLC, a Colorado data analytics group and partner in the initiative, to map out metrics for the Black community to impact the elections and identify parity in registration and turnout of Black voters in battleground states. Success, however, will be measured by more than simply counting new registrants or increasing voter turnout. Of equal importance to success in this 2018 election will be a new and effective focus on leadership, discipline, organization structure, planning, coordination, implementation, and monitoring progress. The real test and aspiration rest in what’s expected to be left behind: increased energy and enthusiasm and a foundation for future success.

“The initiative expects to achieve success through the use and intersection of four major strategies: the use of data-based targeting of infrequent voters and eligible but unregistered citizens; creativity in relational organizing – that is, friends talking to friends and more; especially strong coordination between and among all allied organizations; and research-based communications – why do black voters vote or not?,” said NAACP Vice President of Civic Engagement, Jamal Watkins.

The NAACP will also enlist the support and partnership of members and of allied organizations, including the faith community, Pan-Hellenic organizations and key issue-advocacy groups. So far, more than two dozen memoranda of understanding have been executed with partner organizations.

“The NAACP has always been in the leadership in the struggle to improve the lives of black people in America,” said Johnson. “Now it’s time for us to bring our activist roots to the forefront as strong and effective advocates and creators of change in addressing civil rights and social justice concerns of the black community. In the current social, political and policy environment, change will only happen in our democracy through voting our interests and our conscience. The Black community can only improve its political and economic situation in America by becoming a potent political force.”


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s foremost 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.