The Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP has elected a new president.
Minister Rodney Muhammad has led North Philadelphia’s Mosque Number 12 of the Nation of Islam for 23 years. He’s moving from first vice president to president of the local NAACP chapter.
In his new role, he said he would focus on bringing jobs to the city.
“Traditionally, we may have stood outside of somebody’s business and demanded that people of color have their fair share of jobs,” he said. “But I think today we got to think a little beyond that, and think about how to sit down with people and find ways to help create some of the jobs.”
Muhammad said public safety and gentrification were among his other main concerns.
“Segregation is not here shutting us out, but gentrification is here pushing us out,” he said. “We want to see a harmonious city and everything, but it’s not harmonious when people who are weak, vulnerable, voiceless, non-competitive and defenseless are just being pushed out of neighborhoods.”
Muhammad also said he wants to persuade more millennials to join the NAACP and hold forums aimed at improving the relationship between police officers and civilians.
Muhammad is replacing Jerry Mondesire, who was forced out by the national NAACP amid questions of fiscal mismanagement. Muhammad called the turn of events “unfortunate,” but he said Mondesire helped many people who were victims of discrimination.