Carey: Jealous “outstanding leader who made history and makes positive change a reality”

September 09, 2013

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is expressing its gratitude to NAACP President & CEO Ben Jealous for his leadership in making "positive change a reality for millions." Jealous announced that he is stepping down from his position at the end of the year to devote more time to family and new professional challenges.

"Ben is an outstanding leader who made history and makes positive change a reality for millions," said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director. "I've had the joy and the honor of working with Ben, whether it was as we strategized in coalition against voter suppression, celebrated the wins for marriage equality, expressed outrage at Supreme Court decisions or as our families marched together to protest New York's Stop and Frisk policy."

A long-time friend of the Task Force and the LGBT community, Jealous was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Creating Change Conference in Baltimore (video link). He also traveled extensively to states facing marriage ballot measures, including Maryland, Minnesota and others, to proclaim his support for marriage equality. Jealous is also a staunch champion of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

"Ben deeply understands the interconnectedness of the many struggles for social, racial and economic justice. His work across the country for voting rights, against gun violence and his passionate advocacy on a range of issues has reinvigorated a new civil rights generation. He spoke out in Maryland, Minnesota and elsewhere in support of marriage equality. I have no doubt that Ben and the NAACP contributed to our wins in states across the country over the last year. The Task Force will always be grateful for his commitment to LGBT people and their families — especially on our shared focus of racial and economic justice."

Jealous' leadership is widely credited with transforming the NAACP into a more financially sound, sustainable and powerful organization. Over his five-year tenure, the organization is now the largest civil rights organization online. The NAACP has also increased its donor base almost ten-fold. Simultaneously, the NAACP has dramatically increased the Association's digital and electoral presence.

"Ben is a good friend to the Task Force and we've enjoyed working in partnership with him and his team over his five-year tenure. I will personally miss working with Ben but I also know his work for freedom and justice is not ending. We wish Ben and his family the best and we will look forward to our continued partnership with NAACP, standing with the organization as it moves through this next leadership transition. Thank you, Ben, for passionately guiding the arc evermore towards justice," Carey said.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2013, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. TTY 202.393.2284.