*New York, NY — On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the marches from Selma to Montgomery, and against a backdrop of criminal justice tragedies from Ferguson to Oklahoma, National Action Network (NAN), led by civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, will host its 17th annual convention in New York from April 8-11 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers (811 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019). The convention is free and open to the public but registration is required and isolated events are ticketed.
As NAN heads into its 25th year, the annual national convention will be newsworthy as leaders unite to create a plan of action for President Barack Obama’s last term and build a better nation together. Delegates will hear about a range of issues impacting civil rights including the 2016 presidential election, police and community relations, education, housing, employment, health care, immigration, and much more.
The presidents of leading national civil rights groups such as the National Urban League & NAACP will be among the featured speakers, along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Mayors Ras Baraka, Bill de Blasio, Stephen K. Benjamin, and Michael Nutter, and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
The convention will feature award-winning film producer and director Lee Daniels, actor Anthony Anderson, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, television anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien, motivational speaker and host of “Iyanla: Fix My Life”, Iyanla Vanzant, and cast members from the highly-rated new TV show ‘Empire.’
The convention will welcome potential 2016 Presidential candidates to address attendees including Dr. Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon, author; Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland and Bernie Sanders, Unites States Senator, Vermont. Members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet will be in attendance including Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; and Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.
Leading the panel discussions will be grassroots activists from across the country as well as family members of police misconduct victims including the parents of Michael Brown, the mother and widow of Eric Garner, the mother of Tamir Rice, and the parents and wife of Sean Bell. Also joining will be the parents of Trayvon Martin. Labor groups will be in attendance including J. David Cox, National President of AFGE (The American Federation of Government Employees), George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU (Service Employees International Union), Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME (The American Federation of Government Employees), and Randi Weingarten, President of AFT (American Federation of Teachers).