Levy-Pounds elected president of Mpls. NAACP

Nekima Levy-Pounds, UST law professor
University of St. Thomas law professor Nekima Levy-Pounds called on racial-justice advocates in St. Paul to keep raising awareness about Minnesota's racial disparities at an event on Feb. 18, 2015, held by Voices for Racial Justice.
Laura Yuen | MPR News

The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP has a new president.

University of St. Thomas law professor Nekima Levy-Pounds ran unopposed in the election Saturday.

"I see this as an opportunity to rebirth the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP," she said. "To bring some fresh energy to the group. To help revitalize the organization. To help mobilize the community and to engage stakeholders."

Levy-Pounds, who has a leadership role in Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, was among a slate of female candidates who won the positions up for election.

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Despite the lack of challengers, she's not without detractors.

"What I do think is cool is that for the first time here, it looks like all the staff and the whole administration will be that of women," said community activist Jamar Nelson. "But I think that the wrong woman was chosen."

Nelson agreed with the chapter's departing president, Rev. Jerry McAfee, who told MPR News that Levy-Pounds has been too narrowly focused on police brutality, but she hasn't been a strong voice on other community issues, such as crime.

Levy-Pounds says she hopes she can engage youth in the Minneapolis NAACP and sees opportunities to bring Black Lives Matter and NAACP together to work on issues.

"We will be a force to be reckoned with in the Twin Cities and across the state in our fight for racial, social and economic justice," she said.