WASHINGTON — NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, who is credited with boosting finances at the nation's largest civil rights organization and helping to stabilize it, said Sunday that he plans to step down at the end of the year.
The Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that its rosters of online activists and donors have grown tremendously during his five-year tenure. Jealous was the group's youngest-ever leader when he was hired age 35 in 2008.
In a written statement Sunday, Jealous, now 40, said he plans to pursue teaching at a university and wants to spend time with his young family.
"The NAACP has always been the largest civil rights organization in the streets, and today it is also the largest civil rights organization online, on mobile and at the ballot box too," Jealous said. "I am proud to leave the association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever."
Jealous plans to step down on Dec. 31.
The NAACP said its donors have increased from 16,000 people giving each year to more than 132,000 under his leadership.
During Jealous's tenure, the NAACP also has embraced gay rights in a vote to endorse same-sex marriage in May 2012. "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law," the group said, citing the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.