Town Hall Meeting to Kick-Off State of the Black World Conference III
Washington, DC – Black leaders, activists and organizers from around the country are slated to converge on Washington, DC’s Howard University, November 14-18, for State of the Black World Conference III (SOBWCIII) — which is being billed as the first “Great Gathering of Black People” after the re-election of President Barack Obama. Organized around the theme – State of Emergency in Black America: Time to Heal Black Families and Communities, a primary goal of the Conference is to assess the impact of the election on the interests and aspirations of people of African descent. Now that President Obama has been elected to a second term with a solid 93% of the Black vote, what demands, if any, should Black people make on his administration in the next four years to address the State of Emergency? According to Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), the convener of the Conference, “this is the burning question which must be answered after Black voters marched on ballot boxes with the determination to beat back the tide of the radical conservatism as represented by Mitt Romney. Will the Obama administration finally explicitly address some of the critical needs of the Democratic Party’s most loyal and reliable constituency?”
The Conference will begin November 14 with the launch of the Damu Smith Leadership Development and Organizer Training Institute which is designed to hone the skills of “servant leaders and organizers to do vital work in Black communities across the country.” The Institute will be limited to 100 participants. The first public event of the Conference will be a high profile National Town Hall Meeting, November 15,7:00 – 9:30 PM at Cramton Auditorium on the campus of Howard University. Some of Black America’s most influential leaders will assess The Impact of the 2012 Election on the State of Emergency in Black America. Joblessness, economic underdevelopment in the Black community, the epidemic of violence and fratricide plaguing many distressed Black communities, mass incarceration’ the assault on voting rights, and the Black stake in immigration policy reform are among the issues expected to be discussed at the Town Hall Meeting.
Susan Taylor, former Editorial Director, Essence Magazine, New York; Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Host of Our World Today with Black Enterprise, New York; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women, Washington, DC; Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika, African American Leadership Project, Houston, TX; Jeff Johnson, Political Commentator, B.E.T. and the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Washington, DC; George Fraser, President, FraserNet, the largest network of Black professionals in the world, Cleveland, OH; Atty. Faya Rose Sanders, Founder, National Voting Rights Museum, Selma, AL; Rev. Dr. Willie Wilson, Pastor, Union Temple Baptist Church, Washington, DC, and Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressional Black Caucus, Los Angeles, CA, are the confirmed Panelists. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Congressional Black Caucus, Brooklyn, NY, and Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network have also been invited to join the Panel. Mark Thompson, Host of Make It Plain, SIRIUS/XM, and Bev Smith, Host of the Bev Smith Show, Empowerment Radio, SIRIUS/XM will serve as Moderators.
The Conference will continue Friday through Sunday November 16 – 18, with a series of Special Affinity, Plenary and Working Sessions dealing with a wide range of issues affecting Black families and communities, particularly in urban inner-cities areas. More than 100 speakers and resource people will present models and strategies and engage the participants in these sessions. The organizers hope to adopt a Declaration of Intent to Heal Black Families and Communities as a blueprint and action agenda to be implemented as outgrowth of the Conference. In summing up the rationale and expectations for the conference, Dr. Daniels states that “we’re certainly proud to have a Black family in the White House, but this achievement does not mean that we now live in a post-racial society. There is a state of emergency in America’s ‘dark ghettos’ where millions of Black people are suffering from the effects of structural/institutional racism. Faced with this reality, it is imperative that we discuss what we must do for ourselves to heal Black communities, what we must demand of private sector institutions in terms of reinvesting in our communities, and what we must demand of the federal government. We must leave the conference with a fighting spirit and renewed resolve to end the state of emergency in our communities.”
Dr. Daniels is former Executive Director of the National Rainbow Coalition and Deputy Campaign Manager for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s 1988 campaign for President. He was an independent candidate for President in 1992. Dr. Daniels is also former Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is currently a Distinguished Lecturer at York College, City University of New York. His Vantage Point articles and essays are regularly featured by BlackStarNews.com and can be viewed on the Internet www.ibw21.org