At age 29, NAACP Northeast Region Director Marvin Bing is one of the century old civil rights organization’s newest faces taking on the torch. It’s been a year since the Philadelphia native took the position and his focus is moving the NAACPs mission and campaigns.
NAACP’s Region 2 covers 10 states on the East Coast from Maine to Delaware. Bing oversees the region’s major issues affecting people of color including racial and employment discrimination, the death penalty and marriage equality. He also works closely with the NAACP’s state conference presidents, most notably, New York State Conference president, Hazel Dukes.
“My life is my job,” he said in a recent interview with the AmNews. “My concern is every community whether it’s my talks with young people about not using guns, working with veterans or helping seniors.”
A product of the foster care system, Bing grew up in Philadelphia living in different homes. His mother died when he was younger and his father was in prison. Bing was released from the juvenile justice system, while in foster care, when he was 18 and credits the people around him who lifted him up.
“I had a real village behind me,” he said. “No matter what the circumstance, you can overcome any obstacle. It’s perseverance and never letting go of that concept.”
Today, along with his duties as Regional Director, Bing visits juvenile detention centers while being a vocal advocate for children in the foster care system. He’s currently working on legislation that in New York State that was would raise the age limit of criminalization to 18. The state currently charges youth as young as 14 as adults.
Bing was called to take his current position after his years of working in the union and political realms. He was introduced to the NAACP during the 2010 One Nation Rally, while serving as an organizer, where he met NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. Last year he applied for the position and was called by Dukes for an interview.
Prior to working with the NAACP, Bing worked on the campaign for current Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. He also worked for political consultant Bill Lynch and spent time in Washington D.C. working for the AFL-CIO.
Throughout his work in all of his various position he’s made it a point to hire and employ what society might label the “undesirable.” With joblessness prevalent among poor people of color, Bing has worked to obtain jobs for people. One example was during his work on Vance’s campaign where Bing specifically hired several young people residing in NYCHA housing.
“My day is all about the NAACP. I think a lot of people have forgotten the role the NAACP has played in society. The victories the NAACP had won and what they benefit from. We are fighting for people everyday,” he said.
Currently, Bing is focusing on several campaigns for the NAACP including early voting, minimum wage, stop and frisk, affordable housing and the working poor. And while doing all of this, Bing continues his advocacy work for children in the foster care and juvenile justice system.
Currently living in Harlem, he is taking classes at New York University in order to finish earning his degree. Bing is also the father to 12-year-old daughter.
As far as his future, he said he does have interest in going to politics and would “answer” if he is “called to political office.” If so, he said, he would serve in the state assembly.