More than 60 of America’s leading civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders in Washington, DC gathered today to discuss collectively how to provide positive solutions to “key” issues in the black community as we approach the New Year and as President Obama embarks upon a second term.
The meeting was convened by Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League, Rev. Al Sharpton of The National Action Network, Ben Jealous, NAACP National President; Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and numerous others.
The leaders announced as well as outlined steps in developing a public policy agenda for Black America. The communique outlines is as follows:
*Achieve Economic Parity for African Americans
*Promote Equity in Educational Opportunity
*Protect and Defend Voting Rights
*Promote a Healthier Nation by Eliminating Healthcare Disparities
*Achieve Comprehensive Reform of the Criminal Justice System
“The plight of the African-American community underscores the urgency of our demand. The African-American community was disproportionately battered by the Great Recession, and has benefited the least from the fragile economy recovery. Unemployment remains unacceptably high; income inequality and the ever-widening wealth gap threaten to relegate the black community to perpetual underclass status. Those who wish to curtail investment education and career preparation further dim the prospects for upward mobility for our young people,” the leaders wrote.
The leaders also pledged to vigorously oppose any effort by federal, state or local government to roll back the right to vote by supporting federal election reform, including the Voter Empowerment Act so that long lines at the polls will not be the rule instead of the exception.