Peruse the records and you will find proof that Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony has extensive and historical footprints of accomplishments peppered across the nation. Of the more than 2,200 units of the 100-year-old organization, he has led and managed the largest branch of the NAACP — the Detroit Branch — for the past 18 years. He is now vying for the national office at the chairman level of the board, where he has been serving as member-at-large for the past three years.
He believes that his involvement with the organization on both levels are factors as to why he is able to inspire people, give them hope, a clear vision and a reason for engagement in advocacy and involvement, and this has compelled him to compete for the position.
Rev. Anthony said, “We are at a turning point in the history of civil rights and human race relations. The election of President Barack Obama does not signal an end to civil rights; it signals the success of the civil rights era. It also signals that we must still be very vigilant, speak to issues and concerns that the President, who is President of ‘all’ the people, cannot necessarily speak to. Events over the last year have shown that we definitely need the NAACP, now more than ever. Particularly with the rise of racism and the increase in the number of hate crimes reported and threats against the success of the gains we’ve made historically in civil rights, threats on the sanctity of education in our urban communities; the rise in the prison industrial complex as it relates to incarceration of young Black boys and the lack of economic access. All of these things call for strong involvement in the NAACP.”
As a unit president, Rev. Anthony substantiates that the units need more resources and the ability to raise funds at local levels. Further he said, “You’ve got volunteers that work hard every day to bring ‘some’ justice to their local communities. I salute them. I honor them. There needs to be an NAACP ‘SNAP (Special NAACP Action Program) Team,’ i.e., an attorney, leadership developer and somebody who is capable of handling finances — that goes in when we have civil rights issues.”
The chairman serves as a volunteer along with 63 board members.
“Chairman Julian Bond, an iconic civil rights leader, has served the organization very well but he is not running for re-election. I have worked with the current president, Ben Jealous, who runs the day-to-day operations, whom I believe is doing an excellent job. The chairman is responsible for the organization’s policies, board meetings, and also acts as sounding board, advisor and counselor for internal affairs, as well as serves as motivator for the units-at-large.”
Rev. Anthony, if or when elected, would move on to the national seat. However, he would not leave Detroit, remaining committed to his church, Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee, Freedom Institute, Detroit Public Schools’ Special Bond Oversight Committee and other appointments.