Equality advocate Benjamin Jealous to leave NAACP

Yesterday, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous announced plans to transition out of his role as President and CEO on December 31, 2013.

The NAACP, and Jealous in particular, has been a steadfast supporter of marriage equality and has worked to dispel stereotypes and myths about LGBT people within communities of color. The NAACP and Jealous also helped to lead the charge against anti-gay initiatives in Maine, D.C., Maryland, and California as those states voted on marriage protections for gay and lesbian couples.

"Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people," Jealous said in 2012.

"We thank President Jealous for his time leading the Association," stated Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. "Under his leadership, the NAACP has built a highly competent staff that will carry our mission forward and meet the civil rights challenges of the 21st century. Our board, staff and volunteer leaders throughout the country deeply appreciate his sacrifice, and will continue to implement our game-changing goals for the next half century that include the restoration of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, implementing Trayvon’s Law, bolstering civic engagement efforts and ensuring our community is enrolled in the Affordable Care Act exchanges."

"The NAACP has always been the largest civil rights organization in the streets, and today it is also the largest civil rights organization online, on mobile and at the ballot box too," stated Jealous.  "I am proud to leave the Association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever. Beginning next year, I look forward to pursuing opportunities in academia to train the next generation of leaders and, of course, spending a lot more time with my young family."

The Association will continue its work as an ally in the fights for workers’ rights, women's rights, immigrants’ rights, and marriage equality, as well as in the struggle to end the HIV epidemic. Jealous will remain with the Association through December 31, 2013.