REV. AL SHARPTON & NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK (NAN) CONCLUDE ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION WITH MISSION TO ADVANCE EQUITY ACROSS THE UNITED STATES—
Four-day convention in New York City saw over a dozen Biden administration officials, as well as global leaders across many sectors, lay out a vision to improve voting rights, criminal justice reforms, economic equity
**For photos from last week’s Annual National Convention, click here**
NEW YORK, NY (April 11, 2022) — Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN) concluded its Annual National Convention in New York City with three priorities in advancing Dr. King’s mission of a just, equitable United States. These represent the overall themes of the four-day convention, which ran from April 6th through April 9th and brought together more than a dozen members of the Biden administration, U.S. Congressional leadership, and key figures in business, labor, religion, criminal justice, and the Black church.
“After four inspiring days of discussions, meetings, and reflection, it’s again time for the National Action Network to live up to its name,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, the Founder and President of NAN. “We must now protect the right to vote, reform our criminal justice system so people don’t live in fear of both crime and the police, and make sure companies actually live up to their commitments to social justice. I thank the dozens of speakers, panelists, and honorees for moving this conversation forward. It’s now time to act.”
Following the Annual National Convention, NAN will continue to prioritize the following areas:
Voting Rights Protection:
Several panels and plenary addresses focused on the growing threat to voting rights across the United States. Nineteen states have enacted legislation that scales back the ability to vote, with the goal of further marginalizing Black and Browns at the ballot box. NAN will have boots on the ground to ensure that no person loses this hard-fought right or the voice that it gives them.
NAN will simultaneously push Congress to finally pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The bill would restore and embolden the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, which has been repeatedly gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, Rev. Sharpton and NAN will continue urging President Biden to issue a new executive order that further protects the right to vote.
Criminal Justice Reform:
The NAN Annual Convention hosted discussions that featured the Mothers of the Movement; Benjamin Crump, America’s Trial Attorney for Justice; Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner; and all five District Attorneys in New York City. Each spoke for the need to balance public safety with serious police accountability.
Moving forward, NAN will build upon these discussions to ensure that public safety is improved by building up Black and Brown communities — not simply deploying more law enforcement officers to over police these neighborhoods. NAN will advocate to end no-knock warrants, which have resulted in the unjust police killings of Breonna Taylor and Amir Locke. This bears special significance as Minnesota prosecutors announced, just moments before a NAN panel featuring Locke’s mother, that they would not criminally charge the police officer who killed the 22-year-old during a February no-knock raid, of which he was not the target.
NAN will advocate for Congress to finally pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act first introduced last year. This legislation would become the litmus test for future policing with greater accountability in instances of misconduct, racial bias, and excessive force.
NAN will further Dr. King’s vision for the next phase of the Civil Rights movement: economic justice. That means holding the private sector to become more inclusive and meet internal benchmarks for equity companies set for themselves. Companies can no longer talk the talk on social justice — they must walk the walk and empower Black and Brown leaders.
This is especially important amid allegations in a class action lawsuit led by NFL coach Brian Flores, Sr., one of this year’s Keepers of the Dream honorees, that teams conducted sham interviews with Black and Brown candidates for top positions. Rev. Sharpton has also pressed the NBA to honor its commitments to equity and social justice following reports that Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver has exhibited a pattern of racist, misogynist, and abusive behavior during his 18-year tenure. Nearly six months into the league’s investigation, prompted by ESPN’s extensive reporting on these disturbing incidents, the NBA has failed to meet its pledge of a swift, transparent investigation into Sarver’s racist and misogynistic conduct, including his alleged use of the N-word on multiple occasions. The league must finally answer calls from Rev. Sharpton and his fellow civil rights leaders to hold Sarver accountable for creating a toxic, abusive work environment.
About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, 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.
For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.