Jealous, who was 35 when he was chosen president of the organization, says he plans to pursue teaching at a university and spending time with his young family.
In response, Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network issued the statement below:
“I met the news of the resignation of Ben Jealous as President and CEO of the NAACP with mixed emotions. I am happy that he has done so well and leaves his post with no scandal, shame, or physical challenges, and young enough to have a bright future. There is sadness, however, because for the last several years he has joined Marc Morial, (National Urban League) Melanie Campbell (National Coalition on Black Civic Participation), and me as we tried to broaden the civil rights leadership of the 21st century movement. I have known him since he was a student leader at Columbia University and his first arrest was in the Diallo civil disobedience movement that National Action Network (NAN) and I led in New York to protest the police killing of Amadou Diallo. We worked with him until recently as he joined me and NAN in the fight for justice for Trayvon Martin and helped us as Martin Luther King, III, and I spearheaded the March on Washington 50th Anniversary March to Continue the Dream.
“Ben Jealous has operated with integrity and a real sense of hands-on activism. Not only was he able to revive the NAACP and raise its budget to higher heights, he joined us in the streets in real civil rights activity on the ground. From the ‘suites to the streets’ he will be missed as head of the NAACP but I am sure he will not leave us in his contribution to the struggle.”
Reverend Al Sharpton & National Action Network.