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NAACP Tries To Woo New Members of All Races

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The NAACP is asking every member to go
door-to-door and promote the civil rights group to at least 10
neighbors as part of a nationwide effort to boost stagnant
membership levels by enticing people of all races to join.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
is calling it the "Knock Across America" campaign.

"We're selling this organization because it can be of benefit
to everyone," said Sylvia Williams, who is the first national
membership consultant hired by the NAACP. "Every race belongs to
this organization."

Membership of the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group
has remained at about 500,000 in the last two years. Spokesman John
White said the organization does not maintain figures on the racial
composition of its membership.

Recruitment efforts have been ineffective because many of the
2,200 local chapters do not accurately track their own members and
are not connected to the Internet, White said.

For the $30 annual fee, members receive a bimonthly magazine on
civil rights and the right to participate in local branch
activities, including elections.

The West Virginia and Alabama chapters began the door-to-door
canvassing this month. Maryland chapters of the Baltimore-based
organization will begin doing so in September. Money also will be
set aside for TV and billboard ads, Ms. Williams said.

(Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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