Florida civil rights leader named NAACP board chairman

Leon W. Russell (Courtesy of NAACP.org)
Leon W. Russell (Courtesy of NAACP.org)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Longtime Florida civil-rights leader Leon W. Russell has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP.

Russell most recently served as vice chairman of the national board and was president of the Florida State Conference of Branches of the NAACP from 1996 to 2000.

He also is a former director of the Office of Human Rights for Pinellas County.

"This is a most prestigious, yet humbling honor and one that escalates in importance as we move into a new era of increased challenges against civil and human rights," Russell, who was elected chairman Saturday in New York, said in a statement released by the NAACP.