Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc (LDF) announced that former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro will join LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) as a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow. Secretary Castro will collaborate with TMI on initiatives related to lifting communities of color out of poverty and boosting their economic mobility and quality of life. His expertise in housing, and additionally his background as a locally elected official, brings valuable perspective to TMI’s planned research and public education products.

Secretary Castro was the youngest person to be elected to the San Antonio City Council at age 26, where he served from 2001-2005. He was elected as Mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2015, where, among other achievements, he expanded pre-kindergarten education by increasing access for low-income families. In 2014, he was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Secretary of HUD. During his tenure, he made considerable strides in making homeownership more affordable and released the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, which provided local communities with necessary data and resources to create strategies and actions to address housing discrimination, segregation, and access to opportunity. In 2019, Secretary Castro formally entered the race for the 2020 presidential election. His platform stressed housing as a human right, proposing strategies to solve the rental affordability crisis, end homelessness, increase the supply of affordable housing, among other forward-thinking economic goals.

“Since its founding in 2015, one of TMI’s main focuses has been achieving economic stability and advancement for low-income people of color,” said LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill. “TMI’s contributions on issues like water affordability, the pandemic’s impact on fair housing, and the racial wealth gap are essential to achieving this goal. Secretary Castro’s experience as former HUD Secretary, Mayor of San Antonio, and his unique and outspoken perspective on the needs of those living in our nation’s cities will bring valuable insights to our ongoing work. We look forward to collaborating with Secretary Castro as we work to confront and address root causes of racial and economic inequality, and to explore creative and effective strategies for change.”

“LDF’s longstanding reputation of advocating for economic justice is one I am honored to contribute to,” said TMI Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow Julián Castro. “The Thurgood Marshall Institute serves an important purpose – social science research, public education, and targeted advocacy campaigns in the civil rights realm. Their work has influenced voting rights protections for millions of voters and has expanded knowledge about racial inequities in the criminal legal system and access to fair housing, along with other issues. I’m honored to join this team and relish the opportunity to work with such a historically significant and impactful organization.”

Secretary Castro holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently serves as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.