The Virginia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Virginia NAACP) has selected Da’Quan Marcell Love as Executive Director, it was announced today. Love, 28, will make history, becoming the youngest state executive director in NAACP history when he takes office in January 2021.
A Henrico, Virginia native, Mr. Love is a longtime member, leader and a respected civil rights activist who will be tasked with guiding the Virginia NAACP through a period of tremendous challenge and opportunity at a key point in its 85-year history. The Virginia NAACP has undergone transitions in leadership over the past several years as it re-imagines itself to take on a tumultuous and contentious social and political climate.
“Da’Quan comes to us with a wealth of experience on the national level. He has the business acumen, strategic leadership, and knowledge of the Association to lead our State Headquarters and serve our membership in an outstanding manner,” said Robert N. Barnette, Jr., President of the Virginia NAACP. “As a civil rights veteran, he is intimately knowledgeable about the issues that Black Virginians face and that the Virginia NAACP must work to address,” he added.
National NAACP Administrator Gloria Sweet-Love commented: “Having worked with the Virginia NAACP over the past two years, I’m confident that Da’Quan is the perfect candidate to lead this state conference forward so it can implement its strategic plan.” She continued, “Mr. Love’s unique knowledge of the internal workings of the NAACP and the professional relationships he brings from the political arena will undoubtedly elevate the Virginia NAACP’s political advocacy efforts.”
Mr. Love was selected by the Executive Committee after a national search yielded over 60 highly-qualified candidates.
A former member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, Da’Quan served in many national leadership roles including: vice chair of the annual national convention, and chair of the National Youth Work Committee. As national youth work chair, he led the programmatic oversight of the NAACP’s youth and college units across the country. He formerly served as president of the Virginia State Conference NAACP Youth & College Division, where he successfully led a campaign to stop the proposed invalidation of more than 16,000 voter registration applications in 2012.
Aligned with the Virginia NAACP’s intense focus on non-partisan political and voter engagement for the 2021 election cycle, Da’Quan brings an unmatched political acumen to the state conference. A former state legislative candidate and political staffer, Da’Quan has worked on numerous local, state and federal political campaigns as a fundraiser and strategist.
Da’Quan earned his bachelors in political science from historically-black Hampton University and his masters in teaching from North Carolina State University. He serves on the board of directors of Profound Gentlemen and New Leaders Council-North Carolina, and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Da’Quan will be the sixth full-time executive director of the Virginia NAACP, following the likes of former executive directors: Lester Banks (Executive Secretary) 1947-1977; Jack Gravely 1977-1984; W. Paul Matthews 1984-1986; Linda Byrd Harden 1987-1998; King Salim Khalfani 1998-2014.