Press Release

NAACP President & CEO to Deliver the Commencement Address at St. Peters University

May 12, 2015

Nicole Kenney
Phone: 410-336-4559

WHO: Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will deliver the Commencement address at St. Peters University. Mr. Brooks will also receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Only a year into his appointment as the 18th President and CEO of the NAACP, Mr. Brooks successfully led a 134 mile multigenerational, multiracial and multi faith march, titled Journey for Justice, from Michael Brown’s home in Ferguson to the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City in pursuit of criminal justice reform.  The march led to a meeting with the Governor of Missouri and continued talks with regard to policy reform as it relates to racial profiling and policing in the state of Missouri. Under Mr. Brooks’ Administration, Congress also passed the Death in Custody Reporting Act, which will require states to report to the U.S. Department of Justice information on every instance in which a person dies while in the custody of a law enforcement official.

Prior to leading the NAACP, President Brooks led the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice where he directed the Institute’s successful efforts to win the passage of three landmark prisoner reentry bills in 2010, hailed by The New York Times as, “a model for the rest of the nation.” He has also served as Executive Director of the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington, Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, Second Vice-Chair of the East Orange General Hospital Board of Trustees.

A longtime lawyer and civil rights activist, Mr. Brooks holds a JD from Yale University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston University School of Theology where he focused in social ethics and systematic theology and a BA in political science, with honors, from Jackson State University.


Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EST


PNC Bank Arts Center
116 Garden State Parkway
Holmdel, NJ 07733

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.