Rolling Out

NAACP’s Derrick Johnson on corporate responsibility and community empowerment

The CEO discusses the imperatives of corporate engagement, economic self-sufficiency, and the urgency of voting rights

In today’s complex socio-political landscape, corporate responsibility and community engagement have become more critical than ever. Munson Steed of rolling out with Derrick Johnson, the CEO of the NAACP, discussed the pivotal role businesses play in supporting diverse communities, the power of economic self-sufficiency, and the crucial importance of voting in safeguarding democracy. Johnson’s insights shed light on how strategic corporate involvement and conscientious consumerism can drive meaningful change and foster a more inclusive society.

Munson Steed: Why is corporate responsibility important to the community at large?

Derrick Johnson: The business strategy is not only important in the most diverse sphere in this nation’s history; you have to reach out to all segments of your customer base in order to grow the market. So it’s not a charity; it is a business imperative.

MS: Why is it important for us as receipt shareholders to control our dollars and spend it where people are supporting us?

DJ: The nature of your question says if we want to have something self-determined. We have to be able to control who we are as individuals and the resources we have, including our dollars. It is about being self-sufficient.

MS: Lastly, with the current state of the communities trying to suppress our vote, why is it important now for us to vote?

DJ: First of all, this has been the history of this country in terms of power. One’s vote is the currency, and for African Americans, when we rise up together and deposit our currency collectively, we tend to get the government that is in front of us. At this moment, it is not about candidate A or candidate B, it’s about whether or not we’re going to have a functioning democracy or fascism. If we have something less than a democracy, we will be a target in the worst kind of way.

MS: Thank you.

DJ: Thank you, guys.

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