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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
Statement by Sherrilyn A Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of LDF
LDF applauds the leadership of Benjamin Jealous, the outgoing president of the NAACP who announced today he will step down from his post as President and CEO at the end of the year.
Although the LDF and the NAACP have been separate organizations for over 50 years, LDF and its Director-Counsels have always enjoyed a close collaborative relationship with the NAACP. We have been particularly happy to work with Ben Jealous, who has brought energy, strategic vision and tireless advocacy to his work as the NAACP President.
In his role as the NAACP's President, Ben spearheaded national programs on education, health, and environmental justice. Jealous has been among those at the forefront of efforts to restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, implement Trayvon’s Law, promote immigration reform and marriage equality, and ensure that communities are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Jealous' understanding of social media and online advocacy as important mobilization tools was crucial in the wake of the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Jealous leaves his organization with a strong legacy of coalition building and voter mobilization. His efforts have strengthened the entire civil rights community. We look forward to continuing to work with the NAACP, in particular this year as we intensify our efforts to protect minority voting rights in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder.