2016 National Urban League Conference Recap
The National Urban League Wire
As the nation continues to struggle with issues of racial hostility and social inequity, as demonstrated by the wave of violence that has taken so many lives in recent weeks, the National Urban League convened its 2016 Conference in Baltimore last week.
Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs, and Justice, the theme of the 2016 National Urban League Conference represents an unprecedented mobilization to influence public policy through grassroots political action. From August 3 to 6 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the nation’s largest civil rights and social justice conference attracted thousands of the nation’s most influential community leaders, together with top policy-makers, academicians, business leaders and artists.
The four-day event featured empowering sessions and workshops on topics including education, business, the economy, health, and justice. The N.U.L. Experience Hall, free and open to the public, included exhibits, entertainment, a Volunteer Zone, Health Zone, and chances to win exciting prizes.
Making his first solo appearance since being named Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine addressed the Presidential Plenary, a long-standing tradition of the Conference that acknowledges the indispensable relationship between the nation’s highest office and its leading civil rights and social justice community.
New this year was the family-focused Community Day and Family Expo on Saturday, which attracted thousands of Baltimore-area residents for informative and entertaining exhibits and sessions.
The Conference also featured a Career & Networking Fair, a One-Day Entrepreneur Summit, and a Young Professionals Summit.
Notable speakers, panelists and honorees included:
- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
- Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
- Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett
- Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards
- BET Chair and CEO Debra Lee
- Former Baltimore Mayor and University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke
- U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr.
- Attorneys William H. “Billy” Murphy and Benjamin Crump, representing the families of Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin