New tactics, new priorities for NAACP
Boston — The nation's oldest civil-rights organization is ready to try some new tactics. Demonstrations, speeches, mass meetings - the tools of past eras - will give way to task forces and planning bodies, if the goals set during the group's recent convention here are carried out.
One immediate aim of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is greater activism in helping bring black Americans into the economic mainstream. The motion picture industry will be the NAACP's symbolic target in this effort.
The organization will lobby the industry for more effective affirmative action at the job level, and examine its personnel, contractural, and banking practices, as well, for evidence of discriminatory practices.
The convention passed resolutions requiring Benjamin L. Hooks, NAACP executive director, to conduct a campaign for jobs and upward mobility in the motion picture industry and calling on the industry itself to portray blacks in more positive roles on the screen. Mr. Hooks was also authorized to organize boycotts of movies that exclude blacks ''in front of and behind the camera,'' if that should be deemed necessary.
Targeting the movie industry fits into the association's ''Fair Share'' program, which seeks economic parity for blacks. During the convention, Mr. Hooks and Margaret Bush Wilson, national board chairman, announced Fair Share's first major achievement: a pact with the American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute to make employment and other opportunities in those utilities ''increasingly available to blacks and other minorities.''
A basic element in the pact is the expansion of minority purchasing programs to include the services of black professionals in law, public relations, and other areas, as well as contractors. There are also provisions for naming minority members to boards of directors, upgrading blacks to top positions, and improving philanthropic services and gifts to black and other minority organizatons.
Other areas of concentration for the NAACP during 1982-83:
* Education. The association will continue legal and other efforts to desegregate schools at all levels, but will put greatest emphasis on quality education, rather than busing and the achievement of strict racial balance in schools. The NAACP also will study testing, which has often been criticized as biased against blacks and other minority students. Its investigations will include job-selection testing as well as educational testing.
* Criminal justice. In addition to its longtime concerns of police brutality and prison conditions, the NAACP will seek a more active role in starting rehabilitation programs both inside correctional institutions and for former inmates.
* Traditional causes. Housing, armed forces, poverty, and racial discrimination will all be a vital part of the NAACP program for the coming year. But, again, the national office hopes to do more than make statements of concern.
For example, the organization will attempt to go beyond what some have called the ''numbers game'' in determining opportunities for blacks in the armed forces. Delegates to the convention expressed alarm over criticism of the all-volunteer armed forces as too black. Reports of racial discrimination against black troops in Germany also came up for discussion.
* Political action. The NAACP's chief lobbyist, Althea T. Simmons, says the organization plans to prop up branches in key areas and form coalitions with other organizations to make candidates ''aware of our needs and aims.''