Leon W. Russell is a dedicated advocate for human rights. He has been a vital part of the NAACP National Board of Directors since 1990, holding various roles such as Assistant Secretary, Chair of the Convention Planning Committee, and Vice Chair. In 2017, he was elected as the board's chair, a testament to his decades of commitment.
Russell spent four years as the president of the NAACP Florida State Conference of Branches, following 15 years as the first vice president. His public service career spanned 35 years during which he played a crucial role in implementing affirmative action and human rights ordinances.
Russell also served as President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies from 2007 to 2011. He actively participated in various organizations, including the International City Management Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. As Chairman of Floridians Representing Equity and Equality, he successfully opposed the Florida Civil Rights Initiative, contributing to its failure to reach the ballot.