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"Kirk Clay Assumes National Civic Engagement Directorship at NAACP"

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Kirk.Clay (10k image)The NAACP is pleased to announce Kirk Clay as its new National Civic Engagement Director. In this role, Clay will advance civic engagement and support efforts that ensure equitable engagement of all citizens in the democratic process.

“Voter registration and empowerment is a mainstay of the NAACP’s civic engagement activities,” said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes. “In addition to protecting the right to vote, we will reach out to displaced and recently purged voters who need our assistance in getting their voting rights restored. No one who has registered to vote in the past should have that right denied due to administrative procedures.”

“This is a transformative period for the organization and the country,” said incoming NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We are delighted to have Kirk Clay lead one of the most critical components of the organization. Kirk brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment that support the NAACP’s visionary approach, relentless fortitude and track record of success.”

The NAACP Civic Engagement Department’s goal is to increase African American participation in the democratic process by removing roadblocks and disincentives to voting. Its target areas include: ensuring voter empowerment, protecting voters' constitutional rights, monitoring redistricting and census statistics and promoting ballot initiatives to address social justice issues.

Clay’s background in civic participation, social justice and community organizing spans more than two decades. Prior to joining the NAACP, he was the national field director for Power PAC, a new non-partisan membership organization dedicated to holding elected officials accountable to their constituents. While there, he developed and led a $6 million national “Registration, Education, Persuasion and Mobilization” program that activated more than 500,000 voters in 10 states during the 2008 primary election season.

“I am proud to represent the NAACP during this historic moment in time,” said Clay. “One of my priorities will be to ensure that every eligible American who wants to vote can, and that every vote is counted.”

Clay worked as the Director of Outreach for major gifts at Common Cause where he also developed a diverse national coalition of strategic partners to promote election reform, ethics in government and government accountability. He worked at the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation as Deputy Director and is the former co-chair of that organization’s Black Youth Vote program.

The Toledo, Ohio native was Deputy Director for People For the American Way Foundation’s field department where he managed the Partners for Public Education program organizing pro-public education campaigns in numerous cities across the U.S. Clay also developed the African American Ministers Leadership Council that trained 1,500 ministers on voter education, registration and participation.

The former White House intern is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a major in psychology. He and his wife reside in Washington, DC with their two sons.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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