By Leonard E. Colvin
New Journal and Guide
The National Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has placed the Virginia State Conference under the control of a special administrator.
The actions were detailed in a letter from the national President, Derrick Johnson, to the state Conference President Rev. Kevin Chandler, dated March 15.
Another letter, dated May 1, was written by Gloria J. Sweet-Love, the Chair of the group’s Committee on Membership and Units, who has been appointed the special administrator to State Conference Officers, Executive Committee members, and all local units.
In that letter, Sweet-Love described the “role and responsibilities” of the Administrator.
In both letters, there was no specific reason noted for the national leadership’s actions.
As of May 13, neither the national nor the State’s Conference’s Websites mentioned the National NAACP’s decision.
The GUIDE did reach out via text and phone to the Presidents of the Chesapeake and Norfolk branches of the NAACP, but neither would directly comment on the situation.
The GUIDE also contacted the State NAACP’s Area II President, but she also had no comment and referred this reporter to the State President.
As of deadline May 14, he had not responded to phone or text messages sent to him by the GUIDE.
In the March 15 letter, Johnson informed Chandler that the Virginia State Conference would be placed under the “Administratorship” of Sweet-Love, President of the Tennessee NAACP State Conference and a National Board member.
“The duties are included but not limited” to assuming responsibility for the operations of the State Conference, including committees and staff, the letter stated.
Sweet-Love will be responsible for ensuring that the Executive Committee meets and carries out responsibilities, subject to the approval of the administrator.
She will also ensure that all standing and special committees carry out their duties and responsibilities by meeting and acting on matters presented to them and reporting to the Executive Committee at least monthly.
Other duties include assuring news media and the public are informed of the activities and programs of the State Conference; assuring programs of the State Conference are carried out in accordance with NAACP policy and procedures; delegating duties and tasks as appropriate; and assuring financial affairs are in accordance with established procedures.
The letter pointed out all checks will have three signatures until further noted to include that of the President, Treasurer, and Administrator.
In the letter dated May 1 from Sweet-Love, she said “the local branches, youth councils, and college chapters are not under the administrator.”
However, they “will be affected by the hiring of an Executive Director and the adoption of newly revised bylaws.”
In her letter, Sweet-Love said, “I have been charged with the task of helping you work through the issues that are plaguing the State Conference of the NAACP.
“Specifically we must return to operating within the Standard Operating Procedures of the NAACP’s Constitution and bylaws; correct any an all violations of policy; rewrite and revise State Conference laws; develop a process for hiring an executive director for the Conference; do a strategies plan; develop goals and objectives from the plan; conduct conflict resolution training; and providing training on NAACP procedures and bylaws.”
The Virginia State NAACP has not had an Executive Director since Jack Gravely died in August of 2017.