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William Spriggs - Memorial Graphic - NAACP
Press Statement June 7, 2023

NAACP Mourns the Loss of Dr. William Spriggs, Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO

William Spriggs - Memorial Graphic - NAACP

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON — NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson released the following statement in cf Dr. William Spriggs: 

"The loss of our dear friend, Bill, is deeply felt across the Association and the broader civil rights community. Dr. Spriggs was a champion of economic policy, advocating in many areas that directly impacted the Black community and providing representation that was sorely lacking in this space. Not only did he passionately serve in his capacity as an economist, but was also a life-long friend and ally to the movement – a true advocate for Black Americans.

Dr. Spriggs provided crucial representation on behalf of Black America in rooms where decisions about our futures were being made. Through his amazing thought leadership as a labor economist, civil rights organizations like ours were equipped with the knowledge and confidence necessary to discuss issues of economic concern and advocate for policy change in Congress.

We thank him for his dedication to the Black community and his work to forge a path towards a more equitable world. He is remembered by the many lives who were impacted by his diligent leadership. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Spriggs family and all in mourning during this time."

Last year, Dr. Spriggs participated in the NAACP Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute (CRATI) where he discussed the importance of economic equity for Black Americans and provided insight on how to efficiently advocate for economic policy change. In the same year, the NAACP also wrote a letter to the Biden Administration suggesting Dr. Spriggs for the position of Council of Economic Advisors Chair. 


The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.