|In a letter released to the public, NAACP leaders revealed that they urged President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
“This is what we urged them to do,” wrote Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO:
“The Biden administration must create a new position—National Advisor to the President on Racial Justice, Equity and Advancement.
“The structural inequality that is rooted deep within our society must be addressed, and after four years of regression on social, civil, and political matters that profoundly impact the American people, specifically, Black people, we must prioritize the transformation of our nation into a more just, equal society in which all Americans can succeed and thrive.
“The creation of a National Advisor to the President on Racial Justice, Equity, and Advancement is a bold action that has the potential to yield significant results on behalf of millions of Americans.
“This Cabinet-level position would be charged with centralizing bold, visionary thinking and strategy on racial justice within the White House and fostering holistic measures throughout government to tackle the pervasive problem of systemic racism.
“The Advisor would report directly to Pres. Biden with an office fully resourced and staffed to accomplish its mission.
“We can no longer afford to address systemic inequity exclusively through the civil rights offices of each agency. Our structural inequality goes much deeper than that, and now is the time for bold solutions.
“The strong and early commitment by the Biden administration to elevate racial justice as a top priority has sent a powerful message about its importance and centrality within this administration.
“Now, we’re asking them to put actions to words, and appoint a National Advisor to the President on Racial Justice, Equity, and Advancement.
Johnson signed his letter saying, “Fighting Forward.”
The meeting with Biden also included National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, National Action Network leader Reverend Al Sharpton, and other prominent figures.
It took place after concerns were raised about the need for greater diversity in the president-elect’s top Cabinet choices.
Johnson called it “a very positive meeting” in which Mr. Biden’s biggest commitment was to “continue the dialogue” on racial justice.
“You could see the passion in his conversation, so I believe his heart, I believe his motives are true,” Johnson said.
The NAACP’s job now, he said, will now be to make sure the president-elect follows through.
“How do we ensure what we said we do actually gets measured?” Johnson posed. “We need to have an adviser to the president to address racial equity across the administration, regardless of individuals who are sitting in the seat.”
CBS News contributed to this report.