NAN Year in Review—
NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK
YEAR IN REVIEW: 2016
January 18, 2016: Attorney General of the United States, Loretta E. Lynch, delivered the keynote address at National Action Network’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. In her speech, Attorney General Lynch praised NAN for its activism. “You have stood up for every eligible citizen’s right to vote. And on issues as diverse as job access, corporate responsibility, education, and nonviolence, you have driven important conversations and prompted meaningful action to help create the more perfect Union to which we continue to aspire.”
NAN presented awards to the late Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a legislator and pastor of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, who was among the nine-people killed in the church massacre last year. Rev. Pickney’s widow, Jennifer, accepted the award on his behalf. Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder was also an honoree.
Later that afternoon, NAN held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Public Policy Forum in Harlem. Following the forum, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other political, labor and faith leaders marched with Reverend Al Sharpton to the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., statue located on Martin Luther King Blvd to push for a statewide minimum wage.
“On the day we honor the legacy of Dr. King, it is essential to do things that embody the principles he preached and lived by,” Reverend Sharpton said. “And that is exactly why we are rallying and marching.”
February 3, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton and NAN’s Flint Chapter led by Michigan State Leader Rev. Charles Williams, II mobilized chapters across the country to Washington, DC, to hear Governor Rick Snyder’ s testimony before Congress at an oversight committee hearing regarding the water crisis in Flint, MI. National Action Network started actions in February 2015 and called on the state to switch back to the city of Detroit’ s water source after a town hall meeting. The state ignored the pleas of the community.
February 6, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the keynote address at the annual Trayvon Martin Foundation dinner in Miami, Florida.
February 10, 2016: Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders had breakfast with Reverend Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, NY the morning after Sanders’ New Hampshire primary victory over rival Hillary Clinton.
February 16, 2016: Democratic Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton met with Reverend Al Sharpton, and other civil rights leaders about issues that matter in communities of color.
February 28, 2016: National Action Network Los Angeles Chapter launched a nationwide “TV Tune Out”of the Oscars demonstrations to take a unified stand for diversity, inclusion, and justice in Hollywood. NAN chapters in other cities joined in.
March 3, 2016: National Action Network’ s Michigan Chapter protested the Republican Presidential debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, in response to the lack of movement on the Flint water crisis.
March 11, 2016: National Action Network Atlantic City Chapter President, Steven Young was arrested for speaking out against a proposed take out bill that would allow the state to make local governing decisions for five years.
March 15, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton toured the George R. Vierno Center at Riker’ s Island in New York City to observe the prison conditions.
March 19, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton received the Mandela Legacy Hope, Success & Empowerment Award
at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa, Canada by Nelson Mandela’ s family in recognition of his long history of achievements in advancing civil rights causes around the world. Rev. Sharpton and Nelson Mandela met many times and worked alongside each other to make the world a more just place.
March 24, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton spoke at the 3rd annual Reentry Conference Employment & Training in Jersey City, NJ.
March 30, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton and NAN Board Members Rev. Jeff Johnson & Rev. Freddie Haynes attended the 2016 White House Easter Prayer Breakfast in Washington,DC.
March 30, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton and Dr. Lenora Fulani hosted a town hall meeting to address the public housing crisis in New York City.
March 31, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton was honored with the Passion for Civil Rights award from the Franciscan Handmaids of the most pure heart of Mary Centennial Anniversary Gala in New York.
April 7, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton is featured in a multi-page spread in Vanity Fair regarding his life in activism.
April 13-16, 2016: National Action Network (NAN) hosted its national annual convention in New York City honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The convention brought together influential national leaders in civil rights, government, labor, the church, business, academy, politics, media and activism, to assess where we are today. This was also NAN’ s silver anniversary; 25 years of giving voice to the voiceless and being on the forefront fighting for justice and equality for all who deserve. Some of the topics that were addressed at the convention included civil rights, education, gun-violence, labor, health-care and the state of the black media.
May 7, 2016: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared at National Action Network to discuss NYC issues
May 26, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference in Washington, DC at the National Press Club to urge U.S. Government Agencies against contracting with companies that have exclusionary boards and policies, as well as announce the first company on which NAN’s campaign will focus its efforts.
June 4, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton discussed the legacy of Muhammad Ali at the NAN Saturday Action Rally in Harlem, New York.
June 10, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Staten Island teenager Dayshen McKenzie who died from an asthma attack after being chased by a group of teens.
June 12, 2016: National Action Network’ s Central Florida Chapter released a statement condemning the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.
June 15, 2016: NAN praised the Brooklyn, NY District Attorney’ s office for securing an indictment in the case of Chanel Petro-Nixon, a case that NAN helped to raise awareness.
June 17, 2016: NAN’ s Executive Vice President and General Counsel Michael A. Hardy provided video testimony to the Democratic National Committee on voting rights issues.
June 18, 2016: Nellie Kemp brought her son, Kenneth Kemp to NAN’ s House of Justice. Mr. Kemp received clemency from President Obama through the work of NAN Legal night and the assistance of Attorney Michael A. Hardy.
June 23, 2016: National Action Network issued a statement and cautioned against the use of violence following the acquittal of a Baltimore police officer in the case of Freddie Gray
June 23, 2016: NAN applauded the decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold Affirmative Action at the University of Texas, calling it the defining race decision of this session because it will help students of color be admitted to the country’ s public colleges and universities.
June 26, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network marched in the New York City Gay Pride Parade along with the Governor, Mayor, statewide elected officials and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. The marched also marked the importance of gun control and to honor those who loss life in the Orlando night club shooting
July 2, 2016:
July 4, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the Essence Music Festival and pledged to register more than 50,000 new voters for the presidential election.
July 8th and 9th: Republicans and Democrats joined NAN for a two-day legislative conference. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (Republican-South Carolina) praised National Action Network for its ongoing advocacy on behalf of everyday people. Several Obama administration officials addressed the audience including Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general, and Broderick Johnson, special assistant to President Obama and White House Cabinet Secretary. NAN Chapter leaders, members, and social justice advocates were provided an opportunity to interact with Members of Congress, Administration officials, and network with fellow activists around the myriad of issues that impact our communities daily. Over the two days, we pushed for legislative policies that will protect our rights on matters such as a fair criminal justice system, access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and an equitable public education
July 14, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton joined other civil rights leaders at the White House
July 15, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the funeral of Alton Sterling who was killed by police in Baton Rouge, LA.
July 16, 2016: On the eve of the two-year anniversary of Eric Garner’ s death, NAN and Eric Garner’ s family led a march in Brooklyn, New York.
July 17, 2016: On the 2-year anniversary of Eric Garner’ s death, a church service was held at New Hope BaptistChurch in Elizabeth, N.J. with Garner’ s mother, Gwen Carr, Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network, New Jersey state organizer Rev. Steffie Bartley and over 15 other mothers who lost loved ones to police misconduct
July 17, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton condemned the murder of police officers in Baton Rouge.
July 20, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton delivered remarks during the plenary session at NAACP’s 2016 Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
July 23, 2016: At the National Action Network Saturday rally in Harlem, Rev. Al Sharpton, with Eric Garner’ s mom Gwen Carr at his side, volunteered to pay the fines of New York Liberty players who wore t-shirts expressing their support for the victims of police brutality
July 28, 2016: National Action Network’s Los Angeles Chapter held a Town Hall Meeting on gun violence that featured Judge Greg Mathis.
July 28, 2016: National Action Network held a ministerial luncheon in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention. Participants include: Bishop McKinley Young, Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber, Senior Pastor, First Calvary Baptist Church, the Honorable Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General and Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor, Friendship-West “From Demonstration to Legislation” focused on three major priorities that impact the civil rights community: voting rights expansion and protection, gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform.
July 29, 2016: NAN and Rev. Al Sharpton applauded the federal appeals court in North Carolina for striking down the state’ s requirement for voters to show identification before casting ballots, while also reinstating early voting, a measure that has been a part of National Action Network’ s mission around the country for years.
August 3, 2016: NAN’ s national youth director, Mary Pat Hector was featured on Essence.com, promoting Historically Black Colleges and Universities and youth activism and advocacy.
August 6, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the keynote address at the Michael Brown Foundation Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner in St. Louis.
August 7, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the 2nd annual Rainbow of Mothers Gala in memory of Michael Brown in the presence of mothers from across the country who have lost children due to police misconduct. The event was held in St. Louis.
August 10, 2016: At Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York, Reverend Al
Sharpton delivered an electrifying speech on voting rights. The church is headed by NAN Chairman Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson.
August 20, 2016: During NAN’ s weekly Saturday action rally in Harlem, Rev. Al Sharpton questioned the motives in the selection persecution of Nate Parker, who was charged and exonerated for raping a woman 17 years ago. Parker, who directed the movie Birth of a Nation had been mentioned as an early contender for the Oscars.
August 25, 2016: National Action Network Northeast Regional Director, Minister Kirsten John Foy joined other groups outside of Trump Towers in NYC to protest Donald Trump’ s divisiveness.
August 27, 2016: National Action Network joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and other groups to march and rally from Folger Park to NRA’s lobbying offices in Washington, DC to call for universal background checks for gun buyers and to restrict the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines.
August 27, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy of veteran journalist George E. Curry.
September 14, 2016: National Action Network hosted its annual Action & Authority Reception during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. This year’s honorees were Vanita Gupta, Head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice; Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and April Ryan, White House Correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks. Our honorees were women who answered the call to action in the battles against injustice and for their commitment to the important civil rights and equality issues that we face.
September 16, 2016: Rev. Al Sharpton joined Florida Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall meeting at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference. The forum examined best practices from around the nation and explore how programs are meeting and exceeding the initiative’s benchmarks.
September 18,2016: A litany of stars gathered at the Tabernacle Theater in Atlanta for the seventh annual Triumph Awards. Actress Tichina Arnold hosted the ceremony for the second year in a row and a star-studded list of entertainers from Nick Cannon and Eric Benet to Fantasia and Joe gave rousing performances in a taped two-hour ceremony that aired on TV One on Sunday, October 2, 2016. This year’s honorees were: music mogal Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, filmmaker Spike Lee, attorney Benjamin Crump, FedEx executive Gina Davis and producer Jermaine Dupri. MasterCard received the Corporate Partner of the Year Award.
September 27, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton spoke at the site of the Black Wall Street Memorial in Tulsa, Oklahoma before leading the Justice and Healing march following the shooting death of Terence Crutcher by a police officer.
October 3, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton’s turns 62.
October 4, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton hosts a Harlem screening of Birth of a Nation with actor/director Nate Parker.
October 10, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton, Northeast Regional Director Kirsten John Foy, NYC Councilman Mathieu Eugene and others hold a prayer vigil at the Haitian Consulate and announce a donation drive for the victims of Hurricane Matthew.
October 12, 2016: A discussion of criminal justice issues was the focus of town hall meetings that NAN organized in Oakland and Los Angeles. Reverend Al Sharpton called on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the shooting of Alfred Olango, an unarmed Black man who was shot to death by a police officer in El Cajon—a suburb of San Diego.
October 13, 2016: Panasonic Corporation of North America teamed up with Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and National Action Network to launch the NAN- Newark Tech World, a technology education center that offers Newark students courses in web and graphic design, digital literacy, and networking.
October 19, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton condemns the NYC police shooting of Deborah Danner in the Bronx and calls on the Mayor and Police Commissioner to meet with concerned activists.
October 31,2016: Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell, signed copies of her new book Just 23 at the NAN Saturday Action Rally. Sean Bell was shot and killed by New York police hours before he was scheduled to marry his high school sweetheart.
November 6, 2016: Just days before the 2016 presidential election, Reverend Al Sharpton lands a sit-down interview with President Obama that airs on Politics Nation. During the exchange, President Obama talks about his record on civil rights, what he hopes to see from the next presidents and the importance of voting.
November 8, 2016: Businessman Donald J. Trump is elected the next President of the United States of America. Reverend Al Sharpton pledges fierce opposition to the President-elect’s policies but also pledged to work with him if possible.
November 14, 2016: NAN joined with six other civil rights organizations in vowing to oppose threats to racial justice during a Trump presidency.
November 25, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton and NAN announce the We Shall Not Be Moved March & Rally on January 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The march and rally will aim to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., preserve the legacy of President Obama, and put President-Elect Donald J. Trump on notice that the civil rights community will mount fierce opposition to policies that seek to undermine voting and civil rights.
November 29, 2016: NAN supports the #Fightfor15, a mobilization to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Rev. K.W. Tulloss, NAN’s Los Angeles Chapter President and the Western Regional Director was arrested while standing in solidarity with other activists.
December 1, 2016: NAN’s Board of Directors dedicates 2017 to challenging President-elect Trump and his Attorney General Pick U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions. The board also elected three new members: Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; Bishop Marvin Sapp, award-winning recording artist; and Camille Joseph-Goldman, Vice President for Government Affairs for the northeast at Charter Communications.
December 4, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton kicks off the We Shall Not Be Moved March and Rally mobilizing efforts in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
December 6, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton said that U.S. Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions “is going to have to answer” whether he will continue to press federal charges against a South Carolina officer who killed Walter Scott, the unarmed Black man. The case ended in a mistrial.
December 18, 2016: Reverend Al Sharpton joined NAN’s Atlantic City Chapter President Steve Young in calling a New Jersey state takeover of the city “unconstitutional” and rallied residents to join NAN on January 14th to protest President-elect Donald J. Trump.
December 20, 2016: The family of Michael Griffin, one of the victims who died in the racial attack in Howard Beach 30 years earlier, presented Reverend Al Sharpton with the Michael Griffith/Cedric Sandiford Civil Rights Leader Award at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church.
December 24, 2016: NAN held its annual Christmas Eve community dinner and toy giveaway. Reverend Al Sharpton was joined by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and others.
December 28, 2016: On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Kwanzaa, its founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga delivered a speech at the House of Justice to a packed auditorium.