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The NAACP mourns the passing of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a resounding civil rights icon that prevailed in the face of adversity against all the odds.

“As a devoted statesman to Baltimore and the civil rights movement, Rep. Cummings was among the most passionate and spirited members of congress. He demanded justice on every front and never shied away from standing up for the most vulnerable,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “From his days in the Maryland General Assembly to his key role in the Trump impeachment inquiry as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Congressman Cummings dedicated his life to combating oppression in all its forms — and holding oppressors accountable.”

Congressman Cummings consistently brought attention to the plight of African-Americans and oppressed populations throughout his 23-year service in the U.S. House of Representatives. A native and proud member of the Baltimore community, he consistently took action on policies and legislation that improved his district.

Rep. Cummings became a nationally-recognized figure when he was appointed the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2019. One of the few African-Americans to lead such a prestigious committee, Rep. Cummings often took swift action to call out inequity and abuse of power when confronted.

“Among the many accolades he received throughout his storied life, his legacy of championing issues, facing injustice head-on and speaking truth to power will forever be a part of his greatest contributions,” said Leon W. Russell, Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors.

We are deeply saddened by his passing but profoundly grateful for the contributions he made in his lifetime. The NAACP extends our sincere condolences to his family and sends prayers of comfort and strength for the days to come.