Maya Wiley Begins Tenure as Head of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Civil rights attorney and lifelong activist Maya Wiley begins today as our new president and CEO. We are thrilled to officially welcome Maya to our team and to work alongside her in our coalition’s ongoing fight to protect and advance civil and human rights.
“As a young civil rights attorney, it was my sheroes and heroes in this powerful coalition of now more than 230 organizations who taught me how to speak truth to Congress, how to bring a diverse group of people to one table to fight side by side,” Maya said when we announced her appointment in March.
“It’s a homecoming,” she said. “But it’s also a mission.”
That’s because Maya isn’t new to the coalition. Early in her career, she focused on multiple racial justice issues as a staff member of the American Civil Liberties Union and then the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. — both member organizations of The Leadership Conference coalition. Her father, Dr. George Wiley, founded the National Welfare Rights Organization and worked for economic justice during the height of the civil rights movement. Her mother, Wretha, got arrested fighting for school desegregation. And her grandfather, Daniel Wiley, was a founder of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Urban League — another coalition member.
She knows what it means to fight for civil and human rights — it’s in her DNA.
Maya is a nationally respected civil rights attorney and activist who has dedicated her life and career to fighting for justice, equality, and fairness. And she’s ready for the challenge of leading the nation’s oldest and largest civil and human rights coalition.
“This nation may seem divided, but The Leadership Conference is America — drum majors for democracy, people who come from different communities and callings but share an abiding belief that everyone deserves justice and equality,” Maya said in March. “We do not shrink from this moment.”
With the rise of hate, dangerous attacks on history, and ongoing challenges to voting in our democracy, Maya’s commitment to the principles The Leadership Conference holds dear is exactly what we need. We know that Maya is ready to lead our coalition and to help build an America as good as its ideals.