By Paul Cobb
Roslyn M. Brock, 44, has been elected to succeed Julian Bond, 70, as chairman of the 101-year-old NAACP. She is the fourth woman to hold the position.
Her nomination by Bond, who had served since 1998, and who declined the board’s request to run again, marks a turning point since he is the living “icon of the movement” that changed America and created opportunities for those under 50.
Brock joins the 500,000-member group’s CEO Todd Jealous, 37, who was hired 2 years ago, as the “dynamic new leaders” Bond selected to facilitate a generational shift for the NAACP.
For the first time in NAACP’s history, both its president and chair are too young to have personally experienced legalized segregation.
Brock, a Virginia Union alum and Northwestern graduate with an MBA degree to go with her degrees in Divinity and Health Care, now with works for Bon Secours Health Systems in Maryland.She appreciates how far America has come by electing President Barack Obama but, “we’re not where we ought to be. While some see the nation as being post-racial, America is not post-racial. We need to draw a line in the sand and say thank you, America … but also challenge America that we still have much more work to do.”
Brock said there is, “a misconception that the NAACP is a Black organization. It is not. It’s a multi-racial, multi-ethnic organization our title People of color’ or ‘colored people’ really speaks to those who are falling through the cracks … who feel locked out, our desire is to cast our net broader,” she said. . ”
She was quick to express alliance with, the Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and others, “to advance our common agenda. It’s not always what someone is doing to us, but what we are doing for ourselves,” “
Under Bond,who came of age in the segregated south and marched for civil rights and voting rights laws, the NAACP is staying relevant by turning to social networking, YouTube campaigns and Twitter, along with their “new-age leaders” Brock and Jealous, to re-ignite the front-line activism of youth as he once did as co-founder of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Brock, a member of many organizations, including the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and the LINKS, wrote her Master’s Thesis on “Developing a NAACP Health Outreach Program for Minorities.” As a skilled grant writer, she secured $millions for NAACP. She helped publish “HIV/AIDS and You” educational materials distributed by the NAACP.
“The future is calling us, and the NAACP will answer,” Brock said