Head of NAACP to speak at Union as part of MLK celebration

Publication Date

NOTE: This event has been rescheduled after being postponed due to inclement weather. Please see updated event information below.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, will help the College celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a talk Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 p.m. in College Park Hall.

His talk, “How Far We Have Come and Where We Need to Go,” is free and open to the public. Registration is suggested.

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP

The former vice chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors and president of the Mississippi State chapter, Johnson was appointed the national organization’s leader in October 2017. The social justice-focused group has more than 2,200 branches nationwide.

Under Johnson's leadership, the NAACP has undertaken efforts such as the Log Out Facebook Campaign, pressuring Facebook after reports of Russian hackers targeting African Americans; the Jamestown-to-Jamestown Partnership marking the 400th year that enslaved Africans first touched the shores of America; and the We are Done Dying Campaign, exposing the inequities embedded in the American healthcare system and the country at large.

“A longstanding member and leader of the NAACP, Mr. Johnson has helped guide the Association through a period of re-envisioning and reinvigoration,” the NAACP states on its website.

Born in Detroit, Johnson attended Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss. and South Texas College of Law in Houston. He received fellowships from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the George Washington University School of Political Management and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served as an annual guest lecturer on social movements at Harvard Law School.

A regular commentator on civil rights issues, Johnson is frequently featured on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and other outlets.

The talk is sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Affairs, the chief diversity officers and the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce.