CBCF Panel Addresses Erosion of Civil Rights

Jeff Johnson (second from right) moderates a panel on civil rights at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 47th Annual Legislative Conference in northwest D.C. on Sept. 21. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Jeff Johnson (second from right) moderates a panel on civil rights at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 47th Annual Legislative Conference in northwest D.C. on Sept. 21. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

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.

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I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways:
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