MGT250 Dr. Albert Widman
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a non profit organization, with it’s non profit affiliate Special Contribution Fund, they both consist of a group of well dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders. These great pioneer’s who created this great organization from the ballot box’s into the classrooms, maintain it’s statutes as champion’s of the social justice system.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the kind of organization that leads the civil rights movement, resulting in decades of impressive courtroom victories, and catalyzing desegregation across America. One of the NAACP’s landmark courtroom victories occurred in 1954, when Brown V. The Board Of Education case outlawed school segregation. The principal mission statement of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons, and to eliminate racial hatred and hatred discrimination. The vision statement of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights, and there is no racial hatred and racial discrimination.
The importance of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is advocating and defending civil rights to social injustices that people face everyday. Without them, many people in the past until the present would still be faced with racial injustice. The NAACP has been a voice, as well as a shield of minority Americans.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s organizational structure consists of fifty thousand members, in which was organized into seven federated structures. These structures which span seven regions comprise of one thousand seven hundred active local branches and college chapters. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s governance structure had a sixty four member Board of Directors, twenty-one of which were elected from the seven region federated structure. Another seven members were elected from the youth councils and college chapters, twenty-three members were elected at-large, twelve members were elected by the board of directors, and one was elected by the annual convention.
The average length for youth directors to serve is two years consecutively, but were prohibited to serve in that position on the Board of Directors beyond the age of twenty-five. Out of the nineteen adult members elected annually seven of the members were elected at-large by local branches, four by the Board of Directors, seven by the federated regions, and one by the preceding Annual Convention. Members elected into the governance structure that were elected by the federated regions or The Board of Directors, could serve no more than four consecutive terms, and also had to sit out one year before being eligible again for reelection for the federated region or Board of Directors. Any member, although, could run as an at-large candidate with no restrictions, even though at-large candidates proved hard to win.
The status of NAACP has faced many crisis’ throughout the one hundred year reign of the Association. Through the 1950’s, the status of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s board was criticized as being too exclusive and being out of touch with the membership. The members of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People revolted during an annual convention, and changed the constitution to increase the size of the board, and to ensure substantial regional representation. During the 1980’s, the elected Chairman of the Board of the NAACP Dr. William E. Gibson, was commented by another member of being publicly overshadowed by the Executive Director Benjamin Hooks, and slightly by the press. This result became complicated shifts of governance, or some would say a contest between Gibson, and Hooks. Gibson was publicized by the press for putting his own people on the board, rewarding his own people by setting up another committee for the rewarded, to make that person the head of that committee, and Gibson would also punish those on the board who asked questions pertaining to anything.
Carl T. Rowan, who was a nationally syndicated columnist, and also a long time member, described what was happening at the National office sickening and began citing incidents based on information from the staff and board members. The stakeholders of the organization are ruining the company, and by them playing this major role, they are reducing the companies good reputation by tainting the NAACP’S name with all of these crisis’. When Executive Director Hooks stepped down from office in 1992 and Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Jr. took over as Executive Director, the actions that Chavis displayed was somewhat militant, and led many to believe that the NAACP was becoming a separatist association. Chavis would invite gang members to become involved with the association, therefore causing radical moves which created a great deal of friction between the National Association and it’s branches. When it was disclosed that Chavis had secretly used Association funds to reach a secret settlement of $332,400 with a former assistant mid-level employee Michelle Speaks, over a sexual harassment accusation, the crisis exploded.
The role of control of this situation fell on the board and Chairman of the NAACP William E. Gibson, which voted out Chavis from office in August 1994 during an emergency meeting of the board. Although Chavis was voted out, he left many unresolved problems in the association itself. One major problem that the associated faced, was contributions from major companies such as the Ford Foundation and General Motors. When the news leaked out to the press about the sexual harassment accusations on Chavis, the major contributors (as the ones mentioned previously) refused to release funds to the NAACP, in which put them in over three million dollars in debt.
The board tried to reestablish the NAACP from the public embarrassment, and hardships by appointing a high level staff person Earl Shinhoster as the Association’s Senior Administrator, and later as acting Administrative Director. The board also establish two financial oversight committee’s, and called for an audit. Questions arose that Gibson, the acting Executive Director at the time, was a big spender, after going on 60 Minutes and insulting the NAACP by praising his high end purchases and his extravagant ways. The veil of secrecy had been removed since Chavis’ removal, and all eyes were on Gibson now. The membership was up in the air when Evers-Williams was approached to be a candidate for the Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors. Although it was the last thing on her mind, the board members were looking for a change, and Evers-Williams stepped up to the plate by calling for a new chairman of the NAACP. The board members agreed with her, and very quickly she sent out by federal express a letter to all members that she was a candidate.
The election came to an end on February 1995 at the Annual meeting of the board where Evers-Williams won the Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors by one vote 29-30. Williams struggled to reestablish connections between the organization and major donators. Their were some members of the board who tried to embarrass Williams on certain issues, but in the end people went forward because of the desire to save the NAACP. Williams also decided to change the operating procedures of the board by monitoring all cash advances, incomplete documentation of expenses, and officers’ expenses by a special Board Committee. On August 12, 1995 Williams put into motion the code of ethics. The body of the code was developed by the United Way after it’s leadership crisis. It was designed and stated that all Board Members could not wittingly or unwittingly put themselves into a position that comprised the organization.
Once she was put into position, she reduced the Search Committee from seventeen to seven. A new Executive Director was searched for to run the organization. Kweisi Mfume was appointed the new Executive Director after persistent courting by the Chair and Committee, even though he did not want the position. During his negotiations with the Search Committee before he took office, a condition of his Executive Director status would be that he would only report to the Executive Committee. Other negotiation condition was that he was to change his title from Executive Director to President/CEO. By doing this, Mfume eliminated the current position of Board President, also giving him the power to hire and fire people at his own discretion.
As a result of Mfume’s President/CEO position, he fired fifteen members in his first week, and hired seven new ones, significantly reducing the NAACP’S staff to about 1/8th it’s original size in 1993. Immediately after taking office Mfume brought the association out of debt by raising one million dollars during his first three months, and by October 1996 Mfume announced that the debt of the NAACP has been retired. In February 1997, he announced plans to establish fifty million dollars in endowment over the next five years. By September 1997 the Association was running a budget surplus of about two million.
The NAACP launched it’s 88th annual convention in August 1997 with the theme, “ And Still We Rise”. Chairman Williams, along with her new President/CEO Mfume, has led the organization back towards the upward path, but many challenges still remain. Mfume characterizes his relationship with Chairman Williams as excellent. Regarding his relationship with the board, Mfume wants to work with a board that allows him to do his job as he adjusts to his new environment. As a major stakeholder in the organization now, Mfume made major impacts on the actions that he took when he took office. Mfume took over a responsibility that few people would have taken. He was correct when making conditions on his decision before taking position, by doing this he assured himself that it would be his way or no way. His theory worked, he brought the NAACP out of financial debt, he weeded out the bad apples of the Association and replaced them with positive ones. Mfume worked very hard to get the organization to where it needed to be at that time.
Chairman Williams also played a major part of being a new stakeholder as well, when she took office. She helped the organization by electing the new Executive Director to the organization, or as he likes to be called the President/CEO Mfume. She reduced certain branches as well as keep the board under control by providing appropriate information before board meetings. If I was suddenly elected Chairman of the Board of an Association of a company that was in almost utter ruins, I would have taken all of the same steps that Chairman Williams took to reestablish the company by any means possible. Although it might mean loss of jobs to some members, on a positive note, it might bring the Association stronger and well rounded as a whole. Taking a position that is so tainted by the person before you, is a hard task to fill. I believe that this organization has a long term future, only if they keep with the code of ethics, and the same structured environment with motivated people such as those who brought the Association out of hardship.
A major task in The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the changing environment. Adaptability to change can be some to many organizations, but the Association needs to stay focused and practice careful planning in order to keep up with the times. The NAACP has been turned around and is on the rise since the many hardships that they were faced with over the past one hundred years, and with the help of everyone who supports The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People the organization will live on for another one hundred years. There is not much restructuring that needs to be done to this organization, since everything has already been done by the great leaders who have come before. The mission will always remain the same, as long as they have dedication and inspiration to want to make a difference in society. The only way I can see the organization is going is upward. Today, the NAACP is such a powerful force in today’s political, social, and economic environment, that it would be extremely hard for other organizations to compete with the dedication and service that The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has already provided to America.
My first proposed meeting agenda as being the new chairman of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is as follows:
Proposed Meeting Agenda- Session 1, Meeting 1
October 26, 2007
1) Welcome call to order
2) Adoption of agenda
3) Issues relating to the NAACP activity project
4) Management plan and resources for the NAACP
5) Other matters
6) Conclusion of meeting