The North Carolina NAACP has announced that its new president: the Reverend T. Anthony Spearman, a Greensboro pastor with many years of leadership experience in the organization.

In an announcement Thursday, Spearman signaled that he will be following the course set by the Reverend William Barber II, who announced earlier this year that he would leave to head the Poor People’s Campaign. Spearman was elected at the recent NAACP convention in Raleigh.

In a press release, Spearman, pastor of Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church and recently third vice president of the state NAACP, said he is grateful that Barber has left the state conference in good shape spiritually, morally, and fiscally.

“This state conference

is woke

, and we ain’t


,” Spearman wrote.

The pastor said the group under his leadership will continue to pursue five principal goals:

  • “Pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability;
  • “Educational equality that ensures that every child receives a high-quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education;
  • “Healthcare for all by enduring access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and by providing environmental protection;
  • “Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown, and poor white people;
  • “Protect and expand voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law.”