Mfume clarifies NAACP's need for donations

January 12, 1996|By James Bock | James Bock,SUN STAFF

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, the incoming president of the NAACP, clarified yesterday that he is seeking "donations at all levels" to wipe out the civil rights group's $3.2 million debt.

Mr. Mfume said Tuesday that he had asked about a dozen extremely wealthy athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs, who could erase the debt overnight, to "watch the efforts of the organization and myself to systematically reduce the debt" before acting.

But yesterday Mr. Mfume said his remarks were being misinterpreted by people who thought he was not seeking any big donations to bail the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People out of two years of financial distress.

"The last thing I want people to think is that we don't want them to contribute," he said. "My remarks were meant for the multimillion-dollar donor. But if you make $30,000 a year, $100 is a big donation.

"I'm seeking contributions at all levels, from everybody," he said. "This is a crisis that has to be handled and done away with."

Mr. Mfume, a Baltimore Democrat who has represented Maryland's 7th District in Congress since 1987, will leave his seat next month to become president and chief executive of the NAACP.

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