The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909, making it “our nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.”*
Issues supported by the organization include media diversity, federal advocacy, education, civic engagement, economic opportunity, public health, justice, and more. The NAACP’s ongoing mission is to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”†
Since 1941, the NAACP has been the leading civil rights organization on Capitol Hill, paving the way for the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the 1991 Civil Rights Restoration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act, and countless other federal initiatives. It has also fought against negative portrayals of people of color in the media ever since the 1915 silent film Birth of a Nation.
Today the NAACP is led by Cornell William Brooks, who became the 18th person to serve as chief executive of the Association this year. Since 2008, NAACP’s online activist numbers “have swelled from 175,000 to more than 600,000; its donors have increased from 16,000 individuals per year to more than 120,000; and its membership has increased three years in a row for the first time in more than 20 years.”‡
Becoming a member of the NAACP entails much more than simply making a contribution. You are joining the team that has been on the forefront of civil and human rights movements for more than a century. The Center for Public Service invites those interested in public service to visit the NAACP website at naacp.org, where you can become a member, make a donation, or locate the NAACP chapter in your community.
*NAACP.org homepage, on the Internet at http://www.naacp.org/.
†“Our Mission,” NAACP.org, on the Internet at http://www.naacp.org/pages/our-mission
‡“Cornell William Brooks,” NAACP.org, on the Internet at http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/national-social-justice-advocate-cornell-william-brooks-selected-president