NAACP and Urban League’s Image Problem

February 11, 2011  |  

(TheLoop21) — Civil Rights organizations are locked in a paradox of perception versus reality. The perception is that they are old, out-moded, out-of-touch and ineffectional. But the reality is the NAACP and the National Urban League are still relevant and still championing the rights, causes and issues that have always been the hallmarks of the Civil Rights movement.  If you visit the websites for the National Urban League and the NAACP, you will see that both groups are busy: they are lobbying Congress and the Obama Administration, they are pushing to create jobs, and they are fighting for social justice on local matters all across the country. Both groups are invaluable brands and irreplaceable by nearly any other organization in the entire African American community.  But when you speak to young people across America, there is a sentiment that these groups are outdated and ineffective. They see the NAACP holding one celebrity gala after another, and the group is believed to be putting more energy into its awards shows than fighting for social justice.  In a recent survey taken by, 43 percent of respondents said that they didn’t believe that either the NAACP or the Urban League are relevant for African Americans in the 21st century. Also, 62.2 percent of respondents said that they don’t believe the NAACP is being run efficiently, while only 32.4 percent of respondents said the same thing about the Urban League. Therefore, while neither group gets stellar remarks from the African American community, the bulk of their disappointment is targeted toward the NAACP.

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