Democrats Host Second African American Leadership Summit
More than 150 Top African American Leaders Attend
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader
Tom Daschle, Senator Hillary Clinton and Rep. Elijah Cummings, Chair
of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and other Members of Congress
today hosted more than 150 key African American leaders at the Second
Annual African American Leadership summit.
event, titled, "From Brown to the Ballot" was held on
Capitol Hill and provided a forum for examining issues of critical
importance to African Americans, such as education, jobs and the
economy, voting rights and health care.
'From Brown to the Ballot,' focused on two historic milestones in
the fight for equality and opportunity -- the 50th anniversary of
Brown v. Board of Education and the 40th anniversary of the Civil
Rights Act," Pelosi said. "These anniversaries are causes
for celebration, but they are also a call to action - there is so
much work still to be done."
Pelosi was joined by two African American community leaders from
San Francisco, Eva Paterson and Clementine Clarke. Eva Paterson,
once called "the civil rights leader" of San Francisco,
is the Executive Director of the Equal Justice Society. Clementine
Clarke is a member of the San Francisco Fire Commission and is an
activist for women's issues in San Francisco.
Chair of the Democratic National Committee Voting Rights Institute,
Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,
the Honorable Rodney E. Slater, former Secretary, U.S. Department
of Transportation, Dr. William Spriggs, Executive Director, National
Urban League Institute for Opportunity and Equality, and Rev. Jeffrey
I. Johnson, Youth Pastor, Empowerment Temple AME Church participated
in a panel discussion on ways that African Americans have been affected
by the Brown v. Board Education decision and the Civil Rights Act.
extremely pleased that African American leaders from all across
the country came to Washington today to meet with their Congressional
leaders about these crucial issues, Cummings said. "We
resolved to continue to speak about issues that affect the daily
lives of all Americans and to continue this critical work for our
children, our communities, and the future of our great nation."
on health, education, jobs and the economy were among those moderated
by: Rep. Melvin Watt, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick,
Rep. Donna Christensen, Rep. Donald Payne, Senator Blanche Lincoln,
Senator Christopher Dodd, and Senator Richard Durbin. Keynote speaker
Dennis Archer, President of the American Bar Association, spoke
on the imperative to educate every child in the country.
the burden falls on us to keep the promises extended by Brown and
the Civil Rights Act in the forefront of our nation's consciousness,"
Archer said. "We are the guardians of those promises. It is
our responsibility to see that these promises are kept."
American Summit is part of an ongoing effort to build on the enduring
relationship between the Democratic Party and African Americans,
and to reaffirm their shared values. Democrats are committed to
promoting public policies that promote equality, opportunity and
justice for all Americans.
reject gradualism. We embrace big, bold ideas for Americas
future, Pelosi said. "We are committed to making the
necessary long-term investments to ensure equality and opportunity
for all Americans, from our schools to our workplaces. And as we
do, we will fight to protect the right to vote against any attempt
to undermine the Voting Rights Act. Every vote counts, and every
vote must be counted."