- Overcame a rough childhood (even after dropping out of high school) and went on to become a Congressman and the president of the NAACP
- Fought for equality in high profile American institutions such as the Supreme Court and NBC
- Revamped the inner workings of the NAACP specifically getting rid of large amounts of debt and raising the bar for NAACP groups across the nation
- Didn't finish high school, but I got my GED
- Attended Community College of Baltimore
- Graduated magna cum laude from Morgan State University
- Graduated from John Hopkins University with an MLA
- City council member in Baltimore
- CEO and president of the NAACP
- Hosted radio show, “The Remarkable Journey”, for 3 years
Organizations and Committees
- Black Student Union at the Community College of Baltimore
- Narcotics Abuse & Control subcommittee
- Small Business Committee
- Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee
- Education and Labor Committee
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Big Brother and Big Sisters of Maryland
- Gamma Boulé Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
- Order of the Prince Hall Masons
- Caucus for Women's Issues
- Trustee for: Baltimore Museum of Art, Morgan State U. Board of Regents, Enterprise Foundation
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Harvard's JFK School of Government senior advisor
“Even if they're not reaching out to us, we're going to reach out to them anyway and involve them in a meaningful way. Because if we don't, we will fail to learn the lesson of a generation before us, that reached out for us and never let us go.”
"Then you have an obligation also, the good ones. To make sure you say to the others, that this blue wall of silence must come down and that everybody must be treated equally...”
"We do not have to be victims of circumstance."
What I want more than anything is to see near-perfect equality between the people of this nation no matter what they look like, believe in, or who they love.
My mother died when I was a teen and I had to leave school.
I began working to provide for my family at age 16 after my mother died.
I didn't receive any more schooling until age 23 when I finally went to a community college.
I ran for Senate in the 2006 election but was beaten by another Congressman named Ben Cardin.
I resigned from my job in congress to become the leader of the NAACP.
In 1996, I published my biography, “No Free Ride: From the Mean Streets to the Mainstream”.