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Updated schedule: Beto O’Rourke to join packed field of presidential contenders at Rev. Al Sharpton’s NAN Convention

Mar 25, 2019

Nearly a dozen presidential hopefuls to appear alongside black clergy, activists, and civil rights leaders as the convention explores the state of racial justice and climate of inequality in the U.S. April 3-6

NEW YORK — Rev. Al Sharpton announced today former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will join the field of presidential candidates speaking at this year’s National Action Network (NAN) Convention in New York next week. The full schedule of plenaries, panels, and workshops can be found here:

NAN’s Annual Convention is historically one of the largest civil rights conferences in the country and will address the pressing political issues facing Black and Brown communities 2019. In addition, it will be the largest single gathering of presidential hopefuls before the Democratic debates this summer – with all but three declared candidates scheduled to address convention attendees.

“Donald Trump has injected a lot of noise into American politics,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of NAN. “Our annual convention exists to cut through the noise and focus on the issues and policies that truly affect Black America and the civil rights community by inviting local and national politicians and leaders to help foster policy discussions that lead to innovative solutions.”

With plenaries and panel appearances from nearly a dozen presidential contenders, the convention will be an essential forerunner to the 2020 Democratic presidential debates as the candidates make their case to the African American community – a critical constituency that has consistently carried the party on its back in recent elections. Presidential contenders addressing the convention will include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN), former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (D-TX), Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Appearances from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Eric Holder, Stacey Abrams, Valerie Jarrett, and Tom Perez round out the impressive list of national political figures that will appear at the convention.

“NAN has mobilized Black voters at every level of the democratic process for decades now,” said Ebonie Riley, NAN’s DC Bureau Chief. “Politicians have historically ignored issues that resonate with the black community. Our annual convention has always been an opportunity to hold national leaders accountable to a black specific agenda. Our convention continues to serve as the foremost place for presidential candidates to discuss the policies that directly affect black voters.”

The convention will feature panels, plenaries, and workshops dedicated to dissecting the most pressing political issues of our time, including social justice and economic equality, immigrant rights, diversity, and the media, women’s empowerment and leadership, and consumer privacy and its impacts on communities of color. Each panel will feature a diverse array of political leaders, commentators, academics, clergy, and corporate leaders.

As in previous years, this year’s convention will feature NAN’s Keepers of the Dream Awards, honoring the leaders and luminaries that have shown their dedication and commitment to upholding the legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

Founded in the spirit and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., NAN is one of the foremost civil rights organizations in the country and has already hosted a series of influential events this year featuring leading 2020 presidential contenders. The NAN Annual Convention will take place over April 3-6 at the Sheraton Times Square.

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