After five years of inactivity, the NAACP chapter of Worcester, Massachusetts has re-organized and elected a 28-year-old openly gay academic as its new president, reports the Boston Herald.
Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University, was elected Saturday with a slated of new officers. The 28-year-old says he hopes that as an openly gay man he can help the storied civil rights group address long-ignored gay and lesbian issues in minority communities. Perry also said that most on the newly elected Worcester board are 40 years of age, signaling a generational shift within the NAACP.
Perry tweeted this on Feb. 23: "President Obama's declaration that DOMA is unconstitutional has changed the marriage equality debate significantly. Applause!"
Perry's appointment is welcome. Much of the NAACP is still largely controlled by traditional anti-gay black churches and ministers, such as Rev. Keith Ratliff, Iowa's leading black pastor and the anti-gay chair of the Iowa/Nebraska chapter.
In February 2010, the NAACP elected 44-year-old Roslyn Brock as its new chairwoman to replace the legendary Julian Bond. Brock joins 37-year-old NAACP President Benjamin Jealous—who has tried to engage LGBT issues— and both have pledged to make the veteran civil rights organization more relevant to today's black youth.
Watch Perry's election AFTER THE JUMP ...