In the midst of all of the anti Beyoncé controversy news during Black History Month… President Obama met with young (and not so young) civil rights leaders from across the nation including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader and Author, Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals and many more!
It was a short visit but I wanted to share a few encouraging quotes from meeting:
Obama made a point of saying that there were some legendary civil rights leaders in attendance, such as Lewis, “But we also have some young people [here] who are making history as we speak,” citing Britney Packnett who also attended.
The president said “A lot of the discussion focused on how to move criminal justice reform forward, as well how to improve the nation’s education system…. it has to start early… it would mean having a system that “values diversity, values people for different cultures.”
“All of these things require resources,” Obama said, noting the administration’s budget proposal reflects those priorities.
Obama said he was most encouraged by the young activists’ work on civil rights issues. “They are some serious young people. I told them they are much better organizers than I was at their age,”
Other attendees included:
* Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network
* Ben Crump, President of the National Bar Association
* Brittany Packnett, Member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,
* Cornell Brooks, President of the NAACP
* Deray McKesson, Co-Founder of We the Protestors and Campaign Zero
* Deshaunya Ware, Student Leader of Concerned Student 1950 at University of Missouri
* Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League
* Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network
* Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
* Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change
* Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
* Stephen Green, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division
* Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights