The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)[a] is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial organization to advance justice for African Americans by W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.
Its mission in the 21st century is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. Their national initiatives included political lobbying, publicity efforts, and litigation strategies developed by their legal team. The group enlarged its mission in the late 20th century by considering issues such as police misconduct, the status of black foreign refugees, and questions of economic development. Its name, retained in accordance with tradition, uses the once common term colored people, referring to people of some African ancestry.
The NAACP bestows annual awards to people of color in two categories: Image Awards are for achievement in the arts and entertainment, and Spingarn Medals are for outstanding achievement of any kind. Its headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland.
The NAACP is headquartered in Baltimore, with additional regional offices in New York, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Colorado and California. Each regional office is responsible for coordinating the efforts of state conferences in that region. Local, youth, and college chapters organize activities for individual members.
In the U.S., the NAACP is administered by a 64-member board, led by a chairperson. The board elects one person as the president and one as chief executive officer for the organization; Benjamin Jealous is its most recent (and youngest) president, selected to replace Bruce S. Gordon, who resigned in March 2007. Julian Bond, Civil Rights Movement activist and former Georgia State Senator, was chairman until replaced in February 2010 by health-care administrator Roslyn Brock. For decades in the first half of the 20th century, the organization was