Nekima Levy-Pounds, a prominent Twin Cities civil rights advocate, has announced she is not running for re-election as president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

But Levy-Pounds, 40, said she is not retreating from civil rights activism.

"I plan to have an even more visible presence in the community," she said. "I am going to continue to remain active in the fight for racial, social and economic justice."

Levy-Pounds, who was elected president of the Minneapolis NAACP in May 2015, said she told the local branch at its September meeting that she was not running for re-election. At its October meeting, she informed the branch she was supporting Jason Sole, an assistant professor at Metro State University, to be the next president.

Sole is a former drug dealer and gang leader who wrote, "From Prison to Ph.D.: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances." He is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Hamline University.

Sole was the only candidate to be nominated for president of the Minneapolis NAACP, but other candidates who meet eligibility standards could still be nominated at the November meeting when the election will be held, Levy-Pounds said.

"The fact that he is willing [to run] meant I could safely pass the torch to an astounding leader, and it frees me up to advocate in different ways on behalf of the community," Levy-Pounds said.

Randy Furst