Ex-NAACP employee accuses supervisor of sexual harassment; blasts org
A former employee of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP is speaking out about the national organization, for what she believes was a gross mishandling of her claim of sexual harassment against a former supervisor.
According to the Associated Press, Wednesday, Jazmyne Childs held a news conference to outline the abuse of power that she says occurred during her time as a youth and college director for the state chapter.
Childs alleges her then-supervisor, Rev. Curtis Gatewood — who is currently running to become head of the statewide chapter — sexually harassed and inappropriately touched her.
“As I was unpacking food and setting it up on the table, I felt someone’s breath on my neck,” she tearfully recalls of the alleged February 2017 encounter when she claims Gatewood made unwanted physical advances. “And then I felt him press his penis against my buttocks.”
She then says she yelled, “Why are you hovering over me? That’s gross,” noting that he muttered an excuse that he was looking for a receipt and the “stormed out.”
During this week’s press conference, civil rights activist the Rev. William Barber, who headed the North Carolina chapter at the time of Childs’ employment, was by her side. When Barber initially received her complaint he hired an outside investigator who found the accuser to be a credible witness, something that Gatewood was not.
Childs said that despite informing the national chapter of Gatewood’s actions as of now they have chosen to take no disciplinary actions against him, which felt like a second betrayal.
“First, I was violated by the Rev. Curtis Gatewood, then violated by the national NAACP,” she explains, maintaining that he should not be allowed to be a member of the organization.
Both Childs and Barber want to make it clear that the national organization has a history of failing women within its own ranks, with Childs admonishing that the NAACP, “cannot fight racism and protect sexism.”