Showing posts with label Derrick Johnson NAACP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derrick Johnson NAACP. Show all posts

Friday, July 15, 2022

NAACP calls for Department of Justice to investigate death of Jayland Walker

The NAACP is making a direct plea to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the Justice Department to open a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Jayland Walker, the Black man who was killed last month by officers in Akron in a hail of police gunfire.

“No one is above the law, including law enforcement. Those responsible for hunting him down and firing 90 bullets at him should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We are urging you and your Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Jayland Walker, and – if what we all saw with our own eyes is true – federally charge the officers responsible for his gruesome assassination,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“If the officers’ conduct did not scream just how inhumane and fatally dangerous they are, the very fact that they handcuffed his corpse speaks volumes. This does not happen to white people in America,” Johnson said. “Just over a week ago, a mass shooter was detained as a ‘person of interest’ before being officially charged 24 hours later. He killed seven people and wounded countless others at a parade, yet officers did their job professionally and arrested him with dignity.”

“It is time to hold law enforcement officials accountable for treating Black Americans by different standards. We pray that your department will launch this critical investigation in the quest for justice in this case,” he added.

The Justice Department has yet to comment on the letter.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


Virtual programming on 57th anniversary of March on Washington will advance a bold Black agenda; honor the legacy of John Lewis 

BALTIMORE — The NAACP announced that it will lead a “2020 Virtual March on Washington” alongside civil rights leaders, activists, and families of those who died at the hands of law enforcement, to call for police accountability reform and mobilize voters ahead of the November elections. 
The virtual march — which will bring forward a bold National Black agenda  — will take place on August 28th, 2020, the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Accompanying virtual events with music performances and keynote speakers will also take place on the nights of August 27th and 28th.
“To meet both the urgency and unique circumstances of this political moment, we are driving this movement from protest to policy to power with all the innovative tools at our disposal, including and especially through virtual organizing,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of NAACP. “Our 2020 Virtual March on Washington is about asking everyone — from protesters in the streets to elected officials at all levels of government — to commit to pursuing a new agenda that prioritizes equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all. As we approach the November elections, we must mobilize to vote like we’ve never done before.”
This inclusive day of action seeks to channel the soaring energy from this national moment of reckoning and will call for reforms of the systems, structures, policies, and attitudes that enable police brutality, racial discrimination, and interpersonal racism. The NAACP will also execute a robust civic engagement effort with multiple levers of change, including registering participants to vote and encouraging them to participate in the Census. 
“With the heartbreaking passing of civil rights titan John Lewis, good-willed people all across this country can participate in this march to honor his life and legacy and commit to pursuing a bold Black agenda that advances the unfulfilled promise of our democracy,” President Johnson continued. “We must consider the lives we are attempting to forge for our families and communities. We must act in our best interest to knock down the walls of injustice and grant future generations access to higher social, economic, and political power. This is what the 2020 Virtual March on Washington is all about.”
A series of virtual and in-person programming will take place on the following dates:
  • THE CALL: Thursday, August 27, 8-10pm ET: There will be virtual programming carried on television networks and key social media platforms, including musical performances, remarks from young activists and emerging organizations, and other entertainment. 
  • THE MARCH: Friday, August 28, 11am – 3pm ET: There will be a Virtual March on Washington, streamed across key social media platforms and television networks. Led by Martin Luther King III, and the families of Black people who have died at the hands of police officers, thousands will virtually March on Washington to restore and recommit to the dream Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defined in 1963. The virtual march will be in partnership with a socially distant, in-person march for those in the D.C. area.  
  • THE CHARGE: Friday, August 28, 9-11pm ET: The event will conclude with a night of virtual programming, including a major keynote address and musical performances by award-winning artists. 
Coming days after both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention, the 2020 Virtual March on Washington will set forth a bold new Black agenda — advocating for comprehensive police accountability reform, economic empowerment, and equitable access to health care, education, and the voting booths. For more information, visit

Saturday, June 29, 2019

NAACP statement on Supreme Court's gerrymandering ruling

NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson released the following statement on the Supreme Court's gerrymandering ruling:

Statement on Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek:
“The Court’s rulings today upend our democratic principles by allowing party politics to determine the outcomes of our elections. Extreme partisan gerrymandering has infected our electoral process for far too long. Exercise of the franchise, which many fought and even died for, must not be reduced to a political charade in which the outcomes are predetermined. In America, voters should choose their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters.
The Court should have halted this unconstitutional conduct, but it did not. This is a dereliction of duty in protecting our democracy. In racially polarized environments like North Carolina where racial block voting is standard, today’s decision will license policymakers to mask racial intent as partisan gerrymandering in order to suppress votes and prevent communities from fully participating in democracy to elect candidates of their choice.
We are entitled to fair maps and fair representation in every state. We call upon elected officials everywhere – as well as state courts – to reject partisanship and insist on fair redistricting so that everyone can have a voice.”

Sunday, August 12, 2018

NAACP president on Trump: 'I have no other conclusion but to say he is a racist'

Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP, said President Donald Trump "is a racist" and bashed his administration for its racially charged rhetoric and policies in an interview with Politico published Friday. Listen to that interview below:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

NAACP sues Trump for failing to prepare to count minorities in 2020 census

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s largest and original legacy civil rights organization, together with Prince George’s County, Maryland, the NAACP Prince George’s County Branch and two county residents, sued the federal government today to combat the imminent threat that the 2020 Census will substantially undercount African Americans and other people of color in communities throughout the United States causing inequalities in political representation and deficiencies in federal funding of those communities.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, seeks to compel the Bureau of the Census, an agency within the Department of Commerce, to prepare for and conduct a full and fair Census in 2020, as the U.S. Constitution expressly requires. “The NAACP is committed to ensuring that the 2020 Census does not systematically undercount communities having large African-American populations, such as inner-city neighborhoods, while substantially overcounting communities that are less racially diverse,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO. “The Census must not serve as a mechanism for diluting the political power of African-American communities and depriving them of their fair share of federal resources for an entire decade,” he added. “We are prepared to fight against any plan that effectively turns the census into another form of voter suppression and economic disempowerment in our communities.”

The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct an “actual enumeration” of the U.S. population every ten years. Census results serve as the basis for apportioning congressional seats to each state, redrawing legislative district lines at both the federal and state level and enforcing voting rights laws. The federal government also uses Census data to distribute billions of dollars to local, state and tribal governments.

The 2020 Census, however, remains inadequately funded. The Census Bureau is understaffed, and is emphasizing processes that will only serve to increase undercounts in communities of color. The Bureau has no permanent leadership in place to direct the count, and to make matters worse, the Bureau has cancelled crucial pre-Census field tests and is rushing to digitize the Census without adequate cybersecurity protections, thus undermining public confidence in the privacy of Census data and threatening to inflate the undercount. Further still, the Bureau plans to devote insufficient resources to community partnerships, door-to-door canvassing and other processes designed to encourage communities of color to participate in the Census.

The issues facing the 2020 Census have already caused the Government Accountability Office to label it a “high risk program.” Prince George’s County has acutely felt the harmful effects of past Census undercounts. The county, which has a majority African-American population, suffered a 2.3 percent net undercount in the 2010 Census—the largest net undercount of any county in Maryland, and one of the largest of any county in the nation.

“An accurate census count is critical to the federal funding, political representation, and operations of Prince George’s County,” said Prince George’s County, MD, Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “We must not be undercounted again like we have been over the past 30 years. On behalf of the 900,000 residents of Prince George’s County, I am proud that we are standing and fighting alongside the NAACP to make sure our County gets treated fairly and equally under the law. A vast majority of the residents of Prince George’s County are members of this nation’s historically disenfranchised populations. We cannot let this continue in 2018, 2020, or any year moving forward. This lawsuit will help protect future generations of systemic under-resourcing from our federal government.”

Bob Ross, president of the NAACP Prince George’s County Branch and a named plaintiff in the lawsuit, agrees that an ill-prepared Census hurts his community in several ways.“When the Census Bureau undercounts my community, we lose political power, and fewer of our federal tax dollars end up coming home to fix our roads, run our schools, and fund our federal programs,” said Ross. “We felt these effects in the aftermath of the 2010 Census, and all signs indicate that the 2020 Census will be even worse.”

“The priorities embraced by the Bureau for the 2020 Census threaten to worsen substantially the undercount of communities of color that occurred in the 2000 and 2010 censuses,” said Charlotte Schwartz, a Law Student Intern with Yale Law School’s Rule of Law Clinic, which represents the plaintiffs.

This lawsuit is not the first time the NAACP has taken legal action related to the 2020 Census. In October of 2017, the NAACP, NAACP Connecticut Conference and NAACP Boston Branch filed suit under the Freedom of Information of Act to compel the Commerce Department to produce documents about preparations for the 2020 Census. That suit is ongoing. The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit are represented by the Rule of Law Clinic at Yale Law School, Jenner & Block, and the NAACP Office of the General Counsel. The Rule of Law Clinic also represents the plaintiffs in the pending Freedom of Information Act case.


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 six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting To become a member of the NAACP, and part of the solution, visit:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Can the NAACP save itself?

When the most prominent African-American civil rights group recently issued a nationwide warning against flying on American Airlines, it was a surprising move for an organization known more for slow-moving lawsuits than public confrontation with major corporations.

Leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said they were following tradition in standing up to the company after investigating a series of complaints that it had discriminated against black passengers who were removed from flights or had their seats downgraded against their will. The airline shot back, calling the accusation disappointing and saying it did not "tolerate discrimination of any kind."

Civil rights historians and activists say the rebuke of one of the nation's biggest corporations is part of a growing effort by the 109-year-old organization to reboot. It follows years of complaints that it has become out of touch as social-media-fueled movements like Black Lives Matter ignite protest and policy change.

"NAACP has had extraordinary success in local issues but nationally it's faded," said Craig Wilder, a historian who studies race at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "This is a critical period where it has to reinvent itself."

When black and white activists in New York founded it in 1909, the NAACP was largely focused on fighting against the wide-scale lynching of African-Americans. Within a decade, it had tens of thousands of members around the U.S. One of its first major triumphs came in 1930, when it persuaded senators to block the nomination of a judge to the Supreme Court because of his negative views on civil rights.

In the decades after that, the group turned aggressively to protests and lawsuits. It was prominent in Brown v. Board of Education — the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that led to the desegregation of schools — and helped usher in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

But in recent years it has hit setbacks over finances, leadership and a growing chorus of critics attacking its relevance.

The spat with American Airlines was the latest flashpoint for the organization in its months-long attempt to reset.

Read more: Can the NAACP save itself? With viral protests and new leadership, a storied group tries reinvention