Commentary: New NAACP leader committed to change

By Fleur N. McKendell

As the incoming president of the central Delaware NAACP branch, the current second vice president of the Delaware NAACP State Conference and the mother of two Black sons, I radically reimagine a nonselective and inclusive government — one that is free from the horrific and deep-rooted impact that historical policies, practices and cultural norms, intentionally created to oppress people of color, still has on society. This speaks to my heartfelt and earnest commitment to making sustainable, transformative and restorative change in the areas of educational equity, health equity, housing, economic justice, environmental justice, voter engagement, political representation, public safety and criminal justice.

Fleur N. McKendell

Under my leadership, the central Delaware NAACP branch will continue to strategize and implement actions to be taken for us to leverage our position in the fight for an equitable society.

We will engage in public calls to action, town halls and other tools that will educate the public about injustices plaguing Delaware communities and provide interested parties with opportunities to participate in our operations. We will work to partner with civic-minded companies to increase minority employment and work to sponsor economic education events, with emphasis on vulnerable and underserved communities.

We will work to build a coalition across all groups struggling to obtain equal treatment under the law, including but not limited to the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities and aging adults. We will work to educate our constituents about the power of their vote and ensure that they understand that every election has consequences — particularly state and local elections because it’s those elections that have an immediate and direct impact.

And most importantly, we will work to hold state and local government officials accountable in addressing issues that disproportionately impact protected classes.

The NAACP is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in the nation and has been at the helm of every major social justice movement since being incorporated in 1909. From working to eradicate racial terror lynching and school segregation to working to secure civil rights legislation, the NAACP has fought relentlessly to advance the rights and protections for society’s most marginalized. Communities of color are in a continued state of crisis, and as the battle cry for police accountability, equal voting rights, equal pay for equal work and countless other civil and human rights issues rings louder and louder, the central Delaware NAACP branch will agitate, organize, educate and mobilize to help bring about the much-needed change that communities throughout Delaware so desperately need and deserve.

I am looking forward to operating in my new role and – in the words of the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis – the opportunity to get into some “good, necessary trouble” to advance equal treatment and opportunities for the underserved, undervalued and unprotected.

Fleur N. McKendell is president-elect of the central Delaware branch of the NAACP.