BALTIMORE — On Monday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has signed a letter of intent with the District to move their national headquarters to Washington DC.
“The Reeves Center stands in an iconic and culturally significant area of the U Street corridor with deep connections to the NAACP,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue fighting for change and working to build a more fair and just nation, we look forward to welcoming this iconic civil rights organization to Washington, DC.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is America’s premier and largest civil rights organization.
“Washington, DC, sits at the epicenter of change. This exceptional opportunity to bring our national headquarters to DC will allow us to be even more proactive in serving the Black community, and confronting the serious challenges facing the nation,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “This development venture will fuel the reinvigoration of the NAACP envisioned three years ago. As we have witnessed over the last month, our country is on the cusp of real change that is long overdue. A new home in Washington will allow us to not only fully participate in the growth of this great city, but to also amplify the voices of the Black people as we fight for the crucial policy changes and economic empowerment needed in communities across the country.”
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott sent out a statement and expressing his disappointment in this decision, early Tuesday morning.
I am disappointed to hear that the NAACP is moving their national headquarters from Baltimore to Washington, DC.
The NAACP’s history runs deep in Baltimore. Since 1986, the Association has grown and fought for civil rights for Black people during some of the most turbulent times this country has seen over the last 30 years.
Baltimore has cultivated some of the most influential civil rights leaders in American history. From Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, the first Black woman to practice law in the State of Maryland, to Parren Mitchell, Maryland’s first Black Congressman, this city has been on the front lines in the fight for justice and equality for people of color for generations.
The NAACP’s two most recent past presidents also come from Baltimore: Ben Jealous and Congressman Kweisi Mfume.
The symbolism of the Association headquartered in a city of the south that tore families apart during slavery, but later became a place of emanicipation and hope for so many is incomparable. Baltimore has always been and continues to be a city on the frontlines of civil rights. It is my hope that we do not run away from our history, but continue to build upon it.
We are in the midst of the largest civil rights call-to-action that our country has seen in a generation. Baltimore and the NAACP alike are integral pieces of Black history that should remain together and continue to break down barriers, cultivate the impossible, and represent justice, equality, and equity for all.
I have reached out to President and CEO Derrick Johnson about this announcement. I look forward to speaking with him and continuing to work together for people of color in Baltimore and across the country.