The Board of Directors of the Democracy Initiative (DI) express their sincere appreciation to NAACP President Cornell W. Brooks for his strong leadership and public witness in the fight to advance pro-democracy reforms across the country. The NAACP announced on Friday, May 19 that Brooks would end his tenure as the president and CEO of the historic civil rights organization at the end of June. Brooks has been a valuable member of the DI Board and has set a powerful example of servant leadership in his efforts to not only speak truth to power on core issues of the NAACP, but to physically stand up against injustice through civil disobedience.
For nearly three years, Cornell Brooks has led efforts at the national and local level to ensure democratic participation for all citizens. In the last year alone, the NAACP has had 10 legal victories in the fight against voter suppression. Under Brooks’ leadership, we were proud to support the NAACP-led America’s Journey for Justice, a historic 1002-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C. in 2015. Cornell galvanized DI member organizations to participate in the 2016 Democracy Awakening and was a visible presence in outreach efforts in Howard County (Maryland) in support of public finance. The DI collaborated and supported the recent NAACP-led sit-ins protesting the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. We are grateful for his strong commitment to building a powerful democracy movement and look forward to his continued leadership, vision, and passion in the fight for social justice.
As the NAACP begins a new chapter in its leadership, the DI looks forward to continued collaboration with national and local leaders to move democracy reforms that will strengthen all of our efforts to advance justice in this challenging political landscape.
Karen Hobert Flynn, Co-Chair
Annie Leonard, Co-Chair
Wendy Fields, Executive Director