Accessibility links

Breaking News

NAACP, Mormons Call for Racial Harmony, Civility

Mormon church President Russell M. Nelson shakes hands with Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP during a news conference, May 17, 2018, in Salt Lake City.

Top leaders from the NAACP and Mormon church are calling for greater racial harmony and mutual respect following the first official meeting between national leaders of the civil rights organization and Utah-based religion.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the alliance should be an example for others to work in harmony and with greater civility as he read prepared remarks during a media event in Salt Lake City Thursday. Mormon church President Russell M. Nelson called for greater racial and ethnic harmony.

The event comes ahead of the 40th anniversary next month of the church’s reversal of a ban on blacks in Mormon lay priesthood. That ban was rooted in the belief that black skin was a curse, and lingers as one of the most sensitive topics in the religion's history.