In August of 2013 several national Black Civil Rights organizations came together to set a Black Agenda. This conglomeration of organizations included the National Urban League, National Action Network, NAACP and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
The plan they developed is called the “21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom.” The report they released detailing the Black Agenda contains a five point plan for moving our community forward. Since the release of the report and their meeting with Pres. Barack Obama it would seem as if not much has transpired as it relates to the advancement of the Black Agenda.
The five point plan detailed in the “21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom.” are:
- Achieve Economic Parity for African-Americans
- Promote Equity in Educational Opportunity
- Protect and Defend Voting Rights
- Promote a Healthier Nation by Eliminating Healthcare Disparities
- Achieve Comprehensive Criminal Justice System Reform
On Wednesday, Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Cornell Brooks, President & CEO of the NAACP joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss the status of the Black agenda.
Martin, host of “NewsOne Now” wasted little time getting to his first question, “What is the status of this agenda, in terms of what has been accomplished” and if any of the initiatives listed in the “21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom” have been achieved as it relates to what Congress or the President can do.
Campbell highlighted a number of “key things that have happened.” She explained that through their advocacy they have pushed for the enforcement of executive actions and the things they can do “through criminal justice reform through the Department of Justice.”
She stated that the coalition of national Black Civil Rights organizations has to continue to push hard on voting rights as a result of the Supreme Courts ruling on Sec. 4 of the Voting Rights Act.
Campbell also touted pressing Congress on a number of other issues including minimum wage and education.
Brooks highlighted the Death in Custody Act, which encourages States to report to the Attorney General information regarding the deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement. Brooks said, “It’s not a huge victory, but it is a very significant victory.”
The CEO of the nation’s oldest Civil Rights organization added the Justice Department issuing guidance as it relates to racial profiling as an accomplishment and the DOJ report calling the Ferguson police department “into account.”
Brooks said, “ That police department was noting less than a full service department of bias.” He also stated, the report citing the bias policing practices in Ferguson was a result of a “racial profiling law co-written by the NAACP in Missouri with the Governor [Jay Nixon] when he was Attorney General.”
Martin pressed Campbell and Brooks on a national call to action in the nation’s capital to force action on the Voting Rights Act. Campbell told Martin the Black Women’s Roundtable will be on Capitol Hill on March 25 and on April 22 and 23 a group of young African Americans will be in Washington for “A Day on Capitol Hill.” She added, Voting rights will be a part of that event.
Brooks told Martin the NAACP will be launching “America’s Journey for Justice” and said “Our state conferences are already engaged in direct action” on voting rights.
Both Campbell and Brooks encouraged those interested supporting the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and NAACP in their various initiatives to visit their respective web sites for more information. They are as follows:
Watch Martin, Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Cornell Brooks, President & CEO of the NAACP discuss the status of the Black Agenda and what to look for in the coming months in the video clip above.
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