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The National Action Network’s annual convention is the place to be if you are serious about dialogue and solutions for Black people in America. It always features a who’s who of prominent leaders, activists, elected officials and even celebrities covering everything from policing to black intellectualism to gun crime to the school to prison pipeline and to more esoteric themes such as pension funds and labor unions.

NAN will convene its annual national convention from April 26-29 at the Sheraton Times Square (811 7th Avenue @ 52nd Street) in New York City—walking distance from Trump Tower. The convention is free and open to the public but registration is required and certain events—like the fashion show—are ticketed. For those unable to be in New York City, convention panels will be screened online.

As founder Rev. Al Sharpton notes, this is the first time that the convention will be held in the era of President Donald Trump and in his hometown of New York.

This will be the first major national convening of Black leaders under Donald Trump as we assess the state of America around civil rights and social justice,” Rev. Sharpton told NewsOne. “For 26-years NAN has been a voice for the voiceless and we look forward to mobilizing key leadership to shape a path forward in these times.”

On the first day of the convention – Wednesday, April 26 – Rev. Sharpton and NAN leadership will kick-off and then participants will hear from Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder who will give the convention’s opening address, focusing on gerrymandering and voting rights. Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, will give the first Plenary speech.

Other opening day highlights include a panel on the 2016 election and organizing with pollster Cornell Becher, NOW President Terry O’Neill, MSNBC Correspondent Joy-Ann Reid, and others. Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump will moderate a panel discussion about accountability in policing with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner; Judy Scott, the mother of Walter Scott; Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell; and Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks during a panel discussion on mental health in the Black community. Opening day will close out with the annual Keepers of the Dream Awards, which be hosted by Actor Samuel L. Jackson and will honor Harry Belafonte, Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, the pastor who organized Moral Mondays, Terry O’Neill the President of the National Organization of Women (NOW), and other national leaders.

And that’s just on the first day.

Other highlights for the next two days include panel discussions or speeches from CNN contributor Angela Rye with former President Obama officials; contributions from Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, William Jelani Cobb and Dr. Mary Frances Berry; words from Spike Lee, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and New York Senator and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. And… actor/activist Hill Harper, New York Daily News columnist Shaun King and Akeem Browder, brother of Kalief Browder.

On each day of the NAN convention there will be a hackathon and technology competition, and each evening there will be revivals featuring leading national preachers.

The current schedule is available here.

SOURCE: National Action Network


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