President Obama Addresses Economic Concerns With African-American Leaders
President Barack Obama recently met with several key African-American leaders across various organizations to discuss and address growing concerns regarding the U.S. economic crisis. The meeting addressed how Obama’s “The President’s Plan for a Strong Middle Class and a Strong America” initiative will address the African American community.
Those in attendance included: Al Sharpton; founder of National Action Network; Avis Jones-DeWeever, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women; Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP; Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project; Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation; Rev Derrick Harkins, preacher at 19th Street Baptist Church; Ralph Everett, president of the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies; Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition.
During the meeting, President Obama restated his commitment to increasing job opportunities via an increase in job training programs and a call to encourage businesses and companies to invest resources in the neighborhoods they serve. He also discussed education and his plans of making universal pre-K available for all children.
Regarding the meeting, Sharpton commented, “I and other leaders had a very significant discussion with the President about concerns in the African-American community and the civil rights community in general and most specifically about voting rights.”
He further added, “On unemployment, which is also disproportionately impacting our communities, we must deal with job creation and job programs, educational inequality, the problems of unfairness in the criminal justice system, and the problem of gun violence. Many of our communities go unnoticed but suffer a disproportionate number of casualties from gun violence. The president engaged us in a spirited conversation and seemed to be listening intently.”
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