General’s Office, USM, MHEC and NAACP Hold Forum on the
Future of the NAACP
MD (March 11, 2009) - The Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Maryland Higher Education Commission, University
System of Maryland and the Maryland State NAACP celebrated the
100th anniversary of the NAACP with a daylong symposium on the
future of the NAACP at the University of Baltimore. The event,
attended by NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, focused
on the organization’s successes since its founding
and the challenges it must confront in the future.
Attorney General Douglas
F. Gansler, Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr.,
University System of Maryland Chancellor William
E. “Brit” Kirwan, and Maryland State NAACP President
Gerald Stansbury opened the daylong symposium with remarks noting
the NAACP’s commitment to justice and equality for all citizens.
The theme of the symposium, “New Definitions of Civil Rights:
Bridging the Generations” featured a lunchtime keynote address
by Jealous, the youngest NAACP President and CEO in the history
of the organization.
Attorney General Gansler
focused on the organization’s
use of the law to achieve change, from the Brown v. Board of Education
Supreme Court decision to the end of the Jim Crow laws in the South.
The legal successes of the NAACP led to the enactment of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair
Housing Act of 1968.
“The NAACP may be known by most people for organizing marches
and protests and shedding the light on civil rights injustices,” said
Attorney General Gansler. “But from its very beginning, the
NAACP recognized that law reform could be a powerful tool to obtain
justice for all Americans. The NAACP, throughout its history, participated
and many times led the effort to achieve change using the power
of the law.”
The event featured expert panel discussions focusing on education,
economic justice, environmental justice civil rights and criminal
law / gangs.