Photo credit Ryan Kang of the Oregon Daily Emerald



Starting as President in 2013, NAACP President Eric Richardson has had a busy year stepping up the programmatic aspects of the local unit.  He took a personal interest in enhancing the overall infrastructure of the organization.  This facilitates an increase in capacity to serve more youth and enhance services.


Richardson grew up at the center of social activism for African Americans in Eugene. His family led an African history workshop series and spearheaded the development of culturally inclusive curriculum and pedagogy in Oregon school districts.  Richardson has built on the legacy of his parents’ leadership by advancing the mission of the NAACP in Southern Oregon. His achievements in 2013 laid an important  base for this year’s goals.


“There’s a strong need for culturally affirming educational resources to inspire and support our youth in Lane County, especially those in areas that have limited transportation,” Richardson points out. Many youth are physically isolated in addition to feeling culturally isolated. The NAACP youth programs address these important needs, which enrich youth and help them meet their potential in Lane.

2014 marks an important year for the NAACP as the President lays the primary foundation to build internal capacity in its youth programs. He aims to increase enrollment, across the board; provide mentors for the Back to School/Back to Success participants; formalize the internship program with both University of Oregon and Lane Community College; and, secure the agency’s first paid position.

NAACP turns its focus toward grant development this year, recently receiving the opportunity to collaborate with local school districts in a Department of Education Closing the Achievement Gap project.