The Chavis Regime The Chavis Controversy

August 20, 1994|By Sun staff writer Dana Hedgpeth

1993

April 9 -- The Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., 45, is named NAACP executive director, the seventh in the association's 84-year history. He goes immediately to Los Angeles and spends five days in Watts housing projects awaiting a verdict in the Rodney King civil rights case.

April 30 -- Attends a "peace summit" of current and former street gang members in Kansas City, Mo.

June 3 -- Promises that "in the not too distant future" the NAACP will have more than 1 million members, up from the 500,000 currently claimed.

July 1 -- Signs agreement with Flagstar Cos. Inc., parent corporation of the Denny's chain, calling for the company to spend $1 billion in the next seven years to increase opportunities for minorities.

July 11 -- At NAACP convention in Indianapolis, outlines broad goals for the organization: a greater emphasis on economic equality for blacks; a revitalized effort to bring in young members, and an increased role in foreign affairs. Announces a $2 million endowment to the group from the foundation of the late Reginald F. Lewis.

Aug. 19 -- Helps plan the 30th anniversary March on Washington. He does not invite black separatist Louis Farrakhan because of outside pressure.

Sept. 16 -- In a show of black unity, he shares the stage at a Congressional Black Caucus conference with Minister Farrakhan, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and Rep. Kweisi Mfume to discuss ways to steer black youths away from violence and how to rebuild inner cities.

Oct. 22-26 -- At gang peace summit in Chicago, pledges to improve blacks' lives and urges members of gangs to "lay down their arms."

Nov. 12 -- Makes secret deal with Mary E. Stansel, a 49-year-old lawyer and former U.S. Senate aide, for the NAACP to pay up to $82,400 while he helped find her an $80,000-a-year job elsewhere. The settlement provided that, if she received no job offer, the NAACP would pay her an additional $250,000.

Nov. 27 -- Claims membership in NAACP has increased to 615,000, with half of the new members 25 years old or younger.

1994

January -- Orders an 8 percent across-the-board raise for NAACP employees.

Jan. 16 -- Denounces in a Smithsonian Institution speech anti-Semitic remarks by Nation of Islam spokesman Khallid Abdul Muhammad.

Feb. 4 -- Says the NAACP is "satisfied" with Minister Farrakhan's discipline of Mr. Muhammad.

Feb. 17 -- Meets in New York with leaders of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

April 8 -- Dr. Chavis holds meeting with some 25 black nationalists in Detroit without telling NAACP board.

May -- NAACP treasurer tells board members that, at the end of March, the civil rights group had a $2.7 million deficit.

June 12 -- A three-day National African-American Leadership Summit begins at NAACP headquarters, with Minister Farrakhan attendance.

June 14 -- Leadership conference ends and Dr. Chavis declares it a "victory." He claims NAACP membership increased 5,000 a day because of the summit.

June 24 -- Dismisses 10 NAACP Baltimore employees to cut costs.

June 30 -- Ms. Stansel files a lawsuit in District of Columbia Superior Court, alleging that Dr. Chavis and the NAACP reneged on the November 1993 agreement.

July 10 -- Dr. Chavis lashes out at media critics and vows to keep charting a new course for the NAACP as group's 85th annual convention opens in Chicago. Says that membership has risen from 490,000 to 675,000 during his tenure.

July 12 -- NAACP delegates vote to establish an office in South Africa and reject the anti-Chavis candidacy of C. DeLores Tucker.

July 20 -- He and the NAACP file a counterclaim against Ms. Stansel.

July 31 -- At a news conference in Atlanta, he denies that he sexually harassed Ms. Stansel and says he agreed to pay her up to $332,400 to "protect the NAACP."

Aug. 5 -- Releases letter from Rose M. Sanders, an Alabama lawyer who represented Ms. Stansel, that he says proves sexual harassment was not an issue in the case.

Aug. 17 -- Defends his leadership at a unity rally with about 800 supporters in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Aug. 19 -- A second woman who has accused Dr. Chavis of sexual harassment and wrongful discharge is identified in media reports. The woman, Susan Tisdale, appears at a news conference with Dr. Chavis later in the day and says her concerns have been resolved.

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