North Nashville church, Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church, to serve as fourth stop on NAACP’s nationwide ‘Listening Tour’ on Monday at 6 p.m.
SOTG News Service
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s new president Derrick Johnson and board of directors chairman Leon W. Russell will speak with local constituents and the public in Nashville as part of the civil rights organization’s multi-city listening tour, “NAACP Forward: Today, Tomorrow & Always,” on Nov. 6 at the Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church in North Nashville.
The NAACP’s leadership team kicked off the listening tour in Detroit on Aug. 24 and has also visited chapters in Buffalo and Los Angeles. They also have planned stops in Des Moines, San Antonio, and Washington D.C. over the next few weeks, the organization’s communications team said.
“I firmly believe that this Tour will expand our reach, touch our people, engage more diverse audiences and reinforce our focus on civil rights in this age of great political and social uncertainty,” said Johnson, who was serving as interim president and as vice-chair of the Board of Directors when the tour’s announcement was initially made. “The national Listening Tour, NAACP Forward, is a critical step in looking ahead, and achieving our objectives.”
According to the NAACP’s website, the tour and concurrent campaign is a part of the organization’s strategic plan to enhance its vision and mission, and to renew its commitment to the fight for civil rights amid a swirling climate of “political hostility, voter suppression, income inequality, mass incarceration, police brutality and anti-immigrant sentiment.” Additionally, NAACP Forward has issued a charge to its chapters to convene local membership, supporters and partners to offer their guidance on how the NAACP can retool itself to combat 21st-century threats.
“Our impetus for today’s NAACP is to effectively reach our dedicated staff and members, community organizers, activists, faith and business leaders, social justice advocates and others, to address the issues and challenges that face African Americans, and our communities,” Russell said when the tour was announced.
Along with the tour stops, NAACP’s Nashville chapter has also planned a number of smaller roundtable discussions around the city to “better understand the perspective of its membership, local community leaders, activists and others, continuing the series of critical discussions and action plans” initiated at the NAACP’s 108th annual convention in Baltimore, Maryland, in late July.