Yumeka Rushing joined the NAACP in 2020 as the organization's first Chief Strategy Officer. Responsible for driving growth and transformation, Yumeka is charged with accelerating the shift toward innovation in a new era of civil rights. As a member of the executive leadership team, she is a key architect of a reimagined enterprise, pioneering new strategies to propel the Association forward over its next decade.
Advancing the NAACP's unique position as the nation's first and largest grassroots civil rights organization, Yumeka's teams work across complex systems and include NAACP Centers of Innovation (C-HOPE), Policy and Legislative Affairs, and Learning and Impact. All aspects of development and stewardship fall within Yumeka's portfolio. As lead strategist, she is part of the brain trust guiding the Association through a period of explosive growth, including expanding and diversifying the donor base, revenue streams, strategic partnerships, and key markets.
A strong advocate for social justice, Yumeka cut her teeth as a community organizer, activist, and trial lawyer. She is a nonprofit veteran, having served as Director of the Mississippi Center for Justice, a local affiliate of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Policy Advisor at Oxfam America, a global humanitarian organization; and as an advisor to nonprofit, philanthropic and public sector clients through her strategy consulting firm. She is a former program officer and lead for strategic programming at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the world, where she managed a multi-million dollar portfolio to foster transformative change for children.
Yumeka is a proud graduate of Spelman College. She has lived and studied in the United Kingdom at the University of Birmingham. She received her Master's in Publishing from Pace University and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Her distinguished service includes her tenure as a law clerk to the Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Yumeka is passionate about giving back to the community and is an alumna of the prestigious MIT Community Innovators Mel King Fellowship. She currently serves as Vice President of the board of the Children's Foundation of Mississippi. A native of the Magnolia State, she is married and has three daughters.