CLEVELAND — Cleveland’s NAACP recently welcomed new leadership, and in many ways, Danielle Sydnor is making history. Sydnor is the first female president of Cleveland's NAACP chapter since 1982. She is also the fifth female president in the history of Cleveland’s NAACP. The organization has been around for 110 years.
“I think we’re making Black History every single day,” said Sydnor. “We’ve not come that far.”
Sydnor said leadership and activism was funneled from elders in her family as they faced overt racism.
“You chisel away by having a lot of active members,” said Sydnor.
The organization is all membership-based — all volunteers, even Sydnor. Its foundation is anchored by more seasoned members. She intends to build upon them.
“The energy of the youth and the wisdom of the elders; they’ve got to be in a room together,” said Sydnor.
Her first priorities are old setbacks that are very much current today: poverty and exclusion.
Sydnor said she will focus on “ensuring equity in the workplace, in business, in education, in health."
She’s worked with big investors to provide work through Quicken Loans Arena. Launch Test Kitchen introduced minority-owned restaurants to customers by increasing exposure. Even so, Sydnor says it’s deeper than just employment.
“The challenges that a lot of people in the community have is access to economic equality, which then leads to stable housing and employment,” said Sydnor.