A panel session held Thursday during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 47th Annual Legislative Conference addressed the state of civil rights in the U.S., one of the main topics of discussion at the conference.
Activists, Black politicians and even some celebrities have criticized President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policies as “turning back the clock” on civil rights, a fear that the panel focused on during the session — titled “Fighting the Systemic Destruction of our Civil Rights” — at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in northwest D.C.
“When we go out, we’re not going out to attack people, but rather the systems of oppression,” said panelist Tamika D. Mallory, co-chair of the Women’s March, who will also lead the Women’s Convention next month in Detroit.
Others on the panel included Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Vanita Gupta, CEO and president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Moderator Jeff Johnson, who runs his own communications company, said research on data, sustained media engagement and policy development can help improve underserved communities.
“Why do we have so many brilliant legislators that aren’t authoring and co-authoring more policy and … fighting [bad policies] on any legislative levels?” he said.
The five-day conference continues Thursday afternoon with discussions on Black homeownership, the decline of Blacks in the medical profession and combating inequality in education.