Press Releases

Highlights from Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network’s Summer Conference

Aug 19, 2009

Highlights From Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network’s Summer Conference included the Announcement that Rev. Sharpton, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Speaker Newt Gingrich will conduct a 5-City Education tour and the finding by the Supreme Court that there will be a Stay in the Execution of Troy Davis

New York, NY (August 17, 2009) – Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network (NAN) held their third annual Summer Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, August 13-15 and the conference consisted of three days of enlightening sessions that addressed vital issues crucial to the community and today’s civil rights movement. Highlights included the announcement on Rev. Sharpton’s nationally syndicated radio show that Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will join Reverend Al Sharpton on a tour of five cities to highlight the Obama administrations efforts to reform public education, spur innovation and discuss challenges facing Americas school systems. The tour, an outgrowth of their meeting with President Obama last spring, will stimulate discussion and community engagement around issues of education reform.

Another major highlight coming out of the conference was the announcement that the United States Supreme Court granted a delay in the execution of Troy Davis in order for the Judge to review more testimony. Since his 1991 conviction, NAN has led support efforts around the case to get Troy Davis exonerated.

Delegates at the NAN Conference were joined by high profile clergy, government officials, activists, educators, and leaders in business, and young people. Participants included Mayor Shirley Franklin, Martin Luther King III, Bishop Eddie Long, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, Rick Wade from the Department of Commerce, John Silvanus Wilson, Jr.., the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCU’s, businessman Herman Russell, and many more.

Special plenary sessions addressed critical issues including, but not limited to, racial profiling, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, escalating teen violence, the criminal justice system, justice for Troy Davis, the state of media, the gap in public education, faith and education, and the future success of historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). At the Ministers Luncheon, Bishop Eddie Long raised thousands of dollars to support NAN’s education tour.

The Conference featured events that targeted the interests of today’s youth. A Town Hall meeting with youth speaking out on critical issues featured a panel of experts leading a discussion on such critical issues as peer pressure, bullying, gang violence, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse. The event was co-hosted by hip-hop artist T.I.’s K.I.N.G. Foundation.

National Action Network Summer Conference marked a unique opportunity for participants to rub shoulders with an impressive array of political leaders, entertainers, clergy, and leading educators. Among the conference highlights was Reverend Al Sharpton’s message to the attendees during NAN’s live radio broadcast and rally Saturday, August 15th. Conference participants spent three days at the forefront of the civil rights movement.