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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has appointed Derrick Johnson as the organization’s interim president and CEO, reports USA Today.

Johnson, who serves at the helm of the NAACP’s Mississippi chapter, was unanimously chosen by the executive board to take on the role. Johnson was humbled by the fact that he was selected to lead the organization that has made major contributions to the progression of civil rights since its inception, reports the outlet. He says that he’s cognizant of the current state of politics and believes that there is more work to be done.

“We are facing unprecedented threats to our democracy and we will not be sidelined while our rights are being eroded every day. We remain steadfast and immovable, and stand ready on the front lines of the fight for justice,” said Johnson in a statement, according to USA Today.

He’s reportedly considering hosting a national listening tour to reinvigorate the organization that was founded over 100 years ago, writes the outlet.

Johnson, who was president of the Mississippi NAACP and vice chairman of the NAACP national board of directors, is the founder of an organization called One Voice which is centered on pushing for civic engagement to improve the lives of those from disenfranchised communities.

“I could not think of a better, more battle-tested or more qualified individual to guide the NAACP through this transition period,” Leon Russell, board chairman of the NAACP, told USA Today.

Johnson will serve as president and CEO until a permanent one is selected.

His appointment comes after the NAACP decided to remove Cornell William Brooks as president in May in efforts to find a leader who could guide the organization in a heated political climate.

SOURCE: USA Today

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