NAN Convention to Commemorate MLK Death in NYC

Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network hosts the annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16. (Travis Riddick/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network hosts the annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16, 2017. (Travis Riddick/The Washington Informer)

The National Action Network (NAN) will welcome Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren along with other elected officials and prominent civil rights leaders at its annual convention as the country marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and NAN founder, unveiled the preliminary schedule for the convention, which will be held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel from April 18-22.

The largest convention of its kind in the country will welcome civil rights leaders and allies from around the nation as the civil rights community refocuses its efforts to resisting a hostile presidential administration in the upcoming midterm elections, the organization said.

The convention is expected to bring together influential national leaders from the civil rights movement, government, labor, religion, business, media, the Black church and the activist community to reflect on King’s legacy and impact while celebrating today’s civil rights leaders and examining the path forward.

Confirmed guest speakers include: former Attorney General Eric Holder, Sens. Cory Booker and Tim Scott, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Reps. Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, rapper and activist Common, journalist Susan Taylor, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and TV commentators Angela Rye, Symone Sanders and Joy-Ann Reid.

Founded in 1991 by Sharpton, NAN is one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, with chapters throughout the U.S.

“National Action Network, the group I founded, has affiliates or chapters in over 40 cities around the country,” Sharpton said. “NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.”

CONVENTION SCHEDULE:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18

CONVENTION REGISTRATION
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

OPENING RIBBON CUTTING with Sharpton, Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, NAN chairman, and elected officials
9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE UNION UNDER TRUMP?
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder, National Action Network
Panelists:
Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of FPWA and author
Ras Baraka, mayor of Newark, N.J.
Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

THE STATE OF AMERICAN JUSTICE IN THE AGE OF TRUMP
12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Moderator:
Michael A. Hardy, NAN executive vice president and general counsel
Panelists:
Benjamin Crump, principal, Ben Crump Law, PLLC
Donna Lieberman, executive director of New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Lord Q. Dowdell, chairman of the NAN New York City chapter’s Technology Committee

Panelists:
Keith Davis, director of Cisco Academy Support Center
Chanelle Hardy, director of Google’s Strategic Outreach and External Partnership
Camille Joseph, regional vice president of state government affairs for Charter Communications
Crystal Patterson, Facebook’s Government and Politics Outreach Manager
Terry Sweeney, Panasonic
Antonio Williams, Comcast’s senior director of government and external affairs

KEEPER’S OF THE DREAM RECEPTION (ticketed event)
6 p.m.

KEEPER’S OF THE DREAM DINNER AND PROGRAM (ticketed event)
7 p.m.

YOUTH HACKATHON & TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, APRIL 19

MEDIA PANEL
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Moderator:
Errol Louis, Political Anchor, Spectrum News NY1
Panelists:
Chauncey Alcorn, Trending News Writer, MIC Charles Blow, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York
Times
Ari Melber, Host, The Beat with Ari Melber, MSNBC
Cheryl Wills, Host, In Focus with Cheryl Wills on Spectrum News NY1; Author

DAUGHTERS OF THE MOVEMENT
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Dominique Sharpton, National Director of Membership, National Action Network
Panelists:
Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director, FPWA, Federation of Protestant Welfare
Agencies and Board Member, National Action Network
Ilyasah Shabazz, Daughter of Malcom X
Ashley Sharpton, Daughter of Rev. Al Sharpton

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT & NETWORKING LUNCHEON
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Co-Chairs:
Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications & People en Español
Tanya Lombard, Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs, AT&T
Host:
Angela T. Rye, Principal & CEO, IMPACT Strategies and Political Commentator, CNN
Honorees:
Valeshia Butterfield Jones, Co-Founder & Chair, Women in Entertainment
Empowerment Network
Yvette Pugh, Director, Federal Public Affairs, AT&T
Angela Turner, SVP, Affiliate & Consumer Marketing, REVOLT
Symone Sanders, Correspondent, CNN
Michelle Mittler, Correspondent, CBS

BLACK INTELLECTUALS
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Dr. Jamal Watson, Executive Editor, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine Panelists:
Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr., Chair, Center for African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African-American Studies, Princeton University
Dr. Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education, Temple University
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Professor and Director, Antiracist Research and Policy Center Department of
History, American University
Dr. Tricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the Center for Study
of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University

YOUTH HACKATHON & TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

TRUTH TO POWER REVIVAL
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dorinda Clark-Cole, evangelist and gospel singer

FRIDAY, APRIL 20

PLENARY – The Honorable Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate, Massachusetts
9:30 a.m.

HOW TO DEAL WITH GUN CONTROL
9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Moderator:
Min. Kirsten John Foy, Northeast Regional Director, National Action Network
Panelists:
Marie Delus, Volunteer Leader, Moms Demand Action
Monte Frank, Legal Advisor, Newtown Action Alliance Campaign Iesha
Sekou, Founder, Street Corner Resources

PLENARY – The Honorable Kamala Harris, U.S. Senate, California
11 a.m.

ADVANCING EQUAL EDUCATION IN THE ERA OF TRUMP
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Moderator:
The Honorable Frederica Wilson, Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (FL-24)
Panelists:
Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III Vice President, Religious Affairs
and External Relations, National Action Network
Nashonda Hunter, Acting Director, Charity Foundation Director
Heather Foster, Vice President, PreK-12 Education, Widmeyer Communications
David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition

PLENARY – The Honorable Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senate, Vermont
Noon

REVEREND DR. WILLIAM A. JONES MEMORIAL LUNCHEON
Noon – 2 p.m.

Speakers:
Cory Booker, U.S. Senator, New Jersey
Al Green, Representative, U.S. House of Representatives (TX-09)
Shelia Jackson Lee, U.S. House of Representatives (TX-18)
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, (CA-12)
Honorees:
Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Rev. C.T. Vivian, founder of the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute
Xernona Clayton, Founder, President and CEO, Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator,
Executive Producer, Trumpet Awards

THE BLACK CHURCH: 2018 VOTER MOBILIZATION
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Co-Moderators:
Rev. Nelson Rivers, Vice President, Religious Affairs and External Relations, National Action Network, and Pastor, Charity Missionary Baptist Church
G. K. Butterfield, U.S. House of Representatives (NC-01)
Panelists:
Stefanie Brown James, Co-Founder, The Collective PAC
Quentin James, Founder, The Collective Pac
Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr., Senior Pastor, Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, Jacksonville, FL
Bishop Dennis V. Proctor, AME Zion, Northeastern Episcopal District
Bishop Talbert Swan, II, Executive Secretary, Church of God in Christ

MAYORS PANEL ON PRISONER REENTRY
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Moderator:
Jim McGreevey, former governor of New Jersey
Panelists:
Adrian Mapp, Mayor of Plainfield, NJ
Don Guardian, Mayor of Atlantic City, NJ
Rev. Steffie Bartley
Kedar Hall Charles Little
Helena Muhammad, Reentry Specialist
Tony Vauss, Mayor of Irvington, NY
Christine Dansereau, Mayor of Rosell, NJ
Angela Garretson, Freeholder of Union, NJ

YOUTH HACKATHON & TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

TRUTH TO POWER REVIVAL
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

MEASURING THE MOVEMENT
10 a.m. – noon
Discussion Leader:
Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President, National Action Network
Leaders:
Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civil Participation
Kristen Clarke, President & CEO, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under the Law
Vanita Gupta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Leadership Conference on Civil and
Human Rights
Janice Mathis, Executive Director, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

THE SOCIAL MILLENNIAL: HAS SOCIAL MEDIA WEAKENED OR STRENGTHENED OUR APPROACH TOWARDS ISSUES OF TODAY
Time TBA
Moderator:
Christopher McCullough, Morehouse NAN
Panelists:
David Carter, NAN DC Youth Leader
Rachaeli Davis, Senior Editor, Essence Festival
Quan Lateen-Hill, Produced by Quan, Afropunk
Taylor Trudon, The New York Times, and MTV News

BREAKING THE SILENCE: ADDRESSING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Time TBA
Moderator:
Tylik McMillan, President, National Action Network NCAT Chapter
Panelists:
Brianna Myrie, Sexual Assault Activist
Shawn Swinton, Sexual Student Assault Activist

WE’VE GOTTA HAVE IT! A CONVERSATION WITH SPIKE LEE AND CAST OF HIS NEW NETFLIX SERIES
Time TBA
Moderator:
Mary Pat Hector, National Youth Director, National Action Network
Panelists:
Bintou Jobarteh, VP, Spelman National Action Network
Nia Page, Student, Comparative Women’s Studies

YOUTH HACKATHON & TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION
3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

ANNUAL FASHION SHOW (RSVP REQUIRED)
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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About Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer 326 Articles
Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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