Gala for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund


The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund celebrated its 75th anniversary Thursday night with a dinner and tribute program. The honorees for the evening were four central forces in the fight for racial justice, William T. Coleman, Jr., Honorable William H. Hastie, Jr., Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., and Honorable Louis H. Pollak, whose families were on hand for the celebration, held at the Kimmel Center in the Hamilton Garden.

Photos after the jump »

Interview: Urban League’s New President Rosalyn McPherson on Regaining Relevance

Roz McPherson

Rosalyn McPherson.

Rosalyn McPherson is the new CEO of the Urban League in Philadelphia, taking over for 13-year veteran Patricia Coulter. McPherson, 61, has spent most of the last decade at the head of the Roz Group, a Center City communications firm.

She talked to Philly Mag about the organization, its need to build a broader membership, and about the need for African-American organizations to take on leadership roles in Philadelphia

You have been an Urban Leaguer longer than you have been a Philadelphian. You were with the organization in Northern Virginia before you moved here 14 years ago. So maybe you have a unique perspective on this question: How does the Urban League help make Philadelphia a better and stronger city?

I feel that a traditional organization like Urban League ensures that there is a voice for issues that affect African-Americans in particular but you know, a number of minority communities. It’s important to have those kinds of organizations with a structured, organized voice to press forward with issues that continue to challenge our communities.

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NAACP Suspends Philly Chapter Officers

The Philadelphia Tribune’s Johann Calhoun reports the national office of the NAACP has suspended four officers involved in a dispute over money. The NAACP suspended local chapter president Jerome “Jerry” Mondesire, Donald “Ducky” Birts, the Rev. Elisha Morris and Sid Booker. You have to enjoy a scandal that includes a guy with the nickname “Ducky.”

At issue: Birts, Morris and Booker — longtime Mondesire pals who were below him in the local chapter’s hierarchy — didn’t like the way Mondesire managed a certain amount of money. (In the Daily News earlier this week, Stu Bykofsky wrote that the NAACP’s financial situation is “precarious.”) After the three look leaves of absence, Mondesire fired them.

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Local NAACP Invites National Investigation

Axis Philly reports: “Some executive committee members and officers of the Philadelphia NAACP branch are questioning how long-time chapter president J. Whyatt Mondesire has handled the branch’s finances and they are asking officials from the NAACP’s national branch to intervene and examine the local group’s books.  The concerns focus in particular on the relationship between the local NAACP branch and a long-defunct nonprofit called Next Generation CDC, also headed by Mondesire, which has served as a financial arm of the local NAACP. The CDC has had financial troubles of its own, including back taxes owed.”