Russell Simmons Eyed As New NAACP Prez
Tuesday - January 18, 2005
by Carl Chery
With former president Kweisi Mfume recently resigning, Russell Simmons is now considered an ideal candidate to takeover the NAACP's helm.
Presently in the midst of restructuring their organization, the NAACP hopes to find a leader that speaks to the younger generation of Black Americans. J. Whyatt Mondesire, head of the NAACP's Philadelphia branch believes an influential figure like Simmons would appeal to the youthful demographic they seek to reach.
"We are basically 2,200 local organizations with a national title," Mondesire told Newsday. "The organization needs a heavyweight with a national reputation who can raise money, who has a vision and who has the connections to push us forward with a modern civil rights agenda."
Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut district also supports the idea of Simmons taking over.
"He would bring the young people into the association and wouldn't be beholden to corporations or special interests," Esdaile said of Simmons.
The mogul didn't return calls for comments. If he does decide to take on the challenge, Simmons will have to persuade insiders who feel that their next leader needs to be a current member of the organization.
"The lesson to be learned is they should search internally for someone who knows the operation, rather than someone who has a name but doesn't know the operation's special nature," former fund-raiser and public relations director, Gilbert Jonas offered.