tv National Action Network Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration CSPAN January 24, 2020 1:19pm-2:54pm EST
political affairs director with historian craig shirley on reagan's campaigns for the white house followed by an historian exploring criticisms of president reagan's foreign policy toward the soviet union during the 1980s. enjoy american history tv every night and every weekend on c-span3. c-span's campaign 2020 differs from all other political coverage for one simple reason. it's c-span. the people who brought you your unfiltered view of government since 1979 are bringing you an unfiltered view of the people seeking to steer that government this november. in other words, your future. see the biggest picture for yourself and make up your own mind. c-span's campaign 2020. brought to you as a public service by your cable television provider. next, former president bill
clinton and civil rights leaders gather to honor and mark martin luther king jr. day at a breakfast hosted by the national action network here in washington. this is an hour and a half. good morning. as we gather today, first let me thank all of our honorees that we are saluting this year. it is important on king day that we do things in the spirit of dr. king. today, dr. king as a federal holiday was a result in and of itself of struggle. so we do a nots a take it as a off. we take it as a day on, to do something in the spirit of human rights andnd civil rights that . king stood for.n
national action network startedn 28 years ago on those principles. and we've been blessed to feder partner with martin luther kingl iii who thought it appropriate to spend this holiday every year with us at the breakfast. and he had brought his mother to our convention for many years. so we are in our dna king-like. and no year is more important than this year, because we are meeting on the morning of king holiday when the nation has been more polarized and divided than we've seen in recent history. the rise of anti-semitic in attacks, the rise of hate crimes, the rise of rhetoric that has been polarizing.xtremit people that are gathering in virginia today, extremists threatening to harm blacks and jews, have already been arrested
dayss ahead. we need a spirit of civility anv reconciliation along with justice. to fight for justice is not to fight for bitterness. i wasas blessed to have several conversations with nelson mandela and nelson mandela said it's not enough to be angry. let your anger energize and charge your activism. but then reconcile afterward, otherwise you become those you are fighting. and the bitterness and the venom that we're hearing even at the highest quarters of this country, is not like dr. king w and not like what dr. king would want. that is why we were very careful about those we honor this day, to show that in the middle of all that is going on wrong, r kg there are some that have shown a light. martin luther king jr. said that
darkness can't cancel light, only -- darkness can't cancel e darkness, only light can. we want to salute those that t have shown a light, certainly when we honor eliana eastman, t one of those from parkside that are fighting against gun violence. this young lady -- [ applause ] this young lady has kept her light up. jean- karine jean-pierre with moveon.org, a real voice for the light. and we honor of course kenneth rigmaiden, who has been keeping the labor movement going. our national action network board member lee sanders who is here who is the international president. stand up, lee. i know you're bashful, but stand up. [ applause ]
he said we've got to honor thi'h year, and when lee tells me something, that's what i did. we're also honoring joan mulholland, one of the original freedom riders. [ applause ] w at a time when young whites went to the south and risked life and limb to get this country moving forward. she was from the south. she's yelling, "i'm from the south." that's even more of a sacrifice. she had to live down there after the freedom ride. but we honor her.d to l and kathy hughes, who gave this -- [ applause ] who gave this community a a megaphone, whenheard
our invoices would have been silenced, she is unquestionably the reason that we've made political and economic progress, because if you cannot be heard and cannot interpret for yourself, it will not make crifc change happen, because no one will know what is going on. she with great sacrifice did that. so we honor them today. in fact one of the reasons that hill has said we're not going to a luncheon, many of you know we go to harlem this afternoon andt do our kingha day event and thes everybody goes home tonight because at 8:00 sharp eastern time, we're going to watch the , awards on tv one. kathy hughes has commanded it and thus sayeth the queen. and we honor the 42nd president of the united states. [ applause ]
i'm going to say more about that in a moment. but you don't always have to agree on a path to be going on the same path. and when tanya lombard, where's tanya, who is our board member, vice president at&t, said we id should honor president clinton,e because although there were times that the president and i debated issues, and more times w we ayagreed, it never was about the path we were going. it was about which way we shoulo take on that path. and we are now at a crossroads i in this country,gh where we are really deciding what path we're going. a path of human rights and civil
rights and mutual respect and equal protection under the law and protecting voting rights, or a path of narrow nationalism an divisiveness and polarization and pitting one against another. don't confuse, those of us tha debate from different lanes on i the same highway going the same way, with those that are trying to take us a different highway, to a different destination. and bill clinton took a lot of hits and criticism because he refused to change the path.the he had a lanely that he wanted e go.ghway. the lane was more centrist than us. but we were all on the same highway. and there could not be a better day and time in this divisiveness for us to stand and say to him that we remember when even when we had debate, the
white house was where we could all depend that we were headed in the same direction. william jefferson clinton. [ applause ] i released the announcement g a today that -- talking about different paths, i'm writing a book on -- "rise up" is going to be the name of it.mber. it's going to be out in september, talking about we're at the crossroads.an martin, we are at the are goin crossroads. and we are on the verge of a very dangerous period. and we're going to have to oks o choose where we are going. in that spirit, and the book won't be out 'til september so i'm not selling books today, i'll just get you ready for my bestseller., thank you, reverend davis, for your invocation this morning.si let me bring to start us this
morning a man who just did not sit back on his name. a man that did not say that my family made the sacrifice, i cae be a celebrity, but a man that took the work and said, no, i not only inherited a name, i haw inherited aor responsibility.toh he and ier for the last quarterf a century have worked together, have marched together. we've gone to jail together.ow,n and we have stood together all over this country. there are times when he has had -- they're saying, al, calm down, because i'm a little more northern than urban. but we have operated shoulder t shoulder. andundo he has undoubtedly become the one that's carried on the mantle of his father around the world. may we welcome to the
microphones the eldest son of dr. martin luther king andnd coretta scotttt king, martin luther king iii. [ applause ] martin: good morning. the first thing i want to do is ask my wife and daughter to join me. i think it's very important. >> good morning. the first thing i want to do is ask my wife and daughter to join me. i think it's very important. come on. [ applause ] this is the next generation that's coming. come, come, quickly. i'm going to be very quick. very brief. i want to first -- let me thank god for always being able to be in washington, d.c., especially as we observe the king holiday, the 35th anniversary of the federal holiday. for i remember when in 1983,
ronald reagan signed the king holiday bill. i remember when he said he would not sign a holiday bill. and i remember when the public said you will. and he came back, and he said, i will be honored to sign a holiday bill. isn't that right, president clinton? so i say that to say that the power really is in the people. however, we don't seem to know that. and so while we haven't had a whole lot of celebratory periods, on this holiday it is, as reverend said, about recommitting ourselves, rededicating ourselves to continue the work, because it is nowhere near done. that's why, just a few years ago at the march for our lives, we were blessed to have our daughter speak. and she talked about something that most of us don't envision that can happen. she said, i have a dream just as my grandfather did, and my dream
is to create -- first of all, enough is enough, and we want to create a gun-free world. now, you may say today, when we see all of this confrontation occurring in virginia, that is not able to happen. well, it may not happen this day, but you've got to put it out into the universe before it even begins to be thought about. out of the mouth of babes come prophecy. we especially congratulate all of the honorees, thank you and god bless you. let's keep working. we're going to work tirelessly. dad never embraced hatred because as dad said, hatred can't put out hatred, only love can do that. again, hate will not make america great. but it's love that will make america great. god bless you. [ applause ]
>> before we start our award presentations, let us hear from one that has always been hear for us and certainly keeping the fight alive here, as we fight for rights of this district and fight to keep the district what it's supposed to be. the honorable muriel bowser, the mayor of washington, d.c. [ applause ] >> well, good morning, everyone. i am very delighted to welcome all of you on behalf of the 700,000 residents of washington, d.c. i want to thank you, reverend al, and the national action network for always hosting this breakfast here in our nation's capital, in my hometown. and i want to offer a special
welcome to president clinton, a special welcome to martin luther king iii and his family, and give our great appreciation to the king family. [ applause ] and i am reminded this morning of something that the president said 27 years ago exactly. he said there is nothing wrong with america that cannot be cured with what is right with america. and we hold that sentiment dear today. when i look around this room, i see a lot that is right with america. and we certainly have our work cut out for us in 2020. before i say more on that, i want to thank the national action network and members of the congressional black caucus for your steadfast support of
washington, d.c. and washington, d.c. statehood. we want to thank you for your commitment. we want to honor the late elijah cummings and our congresswoman, eleanor holmes norton. we had a very successful hearing on d.c. statehood. but we know there's so much more that we can do. we know that achieving statehood with more than honor dr. king. it is a way to fight back against cruel policies coming out of our current administration, like the one we're very concerned about where thousands of americans would be kicked off of their s.n.a.p. benefits. instead we need to focus on making bigger investments. i am very honored that we're here together to fight. we know the big issues. housing, protecting our communities against gun violence, fighting climate change, and increasing opportunities for all americans.
and we look forward to the having two senators. god bless you all. >> give the mayor another hand. [ applause ] let me acknowledge several of our partners in civil rights that we're honored to have joining us. certainly we're honored that christian clark is here, stand up, ms. clark. lawyers committee, spencer overton is here. [ applause ] national -- from our women's roundtable, melanie campbell, is here. [ applause ]
laura murphy is here, who has worked for many years with our -- in d.c., among other places, in the civil rights community, and certainly one who is continuing to work. dr. janice mathis is in the house. former congressman kendrick meek of florida is with us. [ applause ] i mentioned the rise of hate crimes and attacks that have been based on anti-semitism. we've been honored to have a close working relationship with the religious action center. and every year they come as leaders in the jewish community to stand with us as they stood
with dr. king. this is their table, they join us every year. [ applause ] in that spirit, last monday, there was a huge rally and march in florida. and i went down to keynote the rally with a sister beloved supporting brother ingram who needs the florida education association. it is unbelievable that we in the state of florida, the sunshine state, the state that the present president says he now resides in, that teachers do not get the pay they should, and that those that work in the schools, some in food services, some custodians making less than $12 an hour, we have had a long bond with randi weingarten when she was in new york as the he
had of the uft and now as head of the aft. dr. king fought, lee sanders, for your union when he was killed. we want to continue that bond with labor as we are in a climate that is antilabor and looks out for the businesses at the top but not the teachers and therefore the students at the bottom. let's have a few words from randi weingarten. [ applause ] >> i am grateful to be in your presence. i am grateful for reverend sharpton's leadership. i am grateful for the leadership of the honorees today. we are, as reverend sharpton said, both in uncertain and
perilous times. and while i worry about the future, i'm clear-eyed about the level of activism and deep community work that it will take to get us through. fiercely hopeful yet clear-eyed about the existential threat. and the reason is because of the labor movement and public education. when unions were representing every one of three workers, in some ways community and labor were hand in hand. today, with the powerful forces that attempt to divide us, we have to be more intentional about building community. and so i often used to say, community is our new density. today i say community is our responsibility. that's what utla did last year, when they fought for the nurses and guidance counselors that we
needed in our schools for kids to survive. that's what the chicago teachers union did this year, with the same kind of fight and the fight for programs for kids to thrive, because at the end of the day, while public schools are far from perfect, they are the ladder of opportunity, the pathway out of poverty, the place to develop the muscle of civic participation where we both embrace america's diversity and force a common identity. when we stand hand to hand as aft has always done, we take a righteous path. but to win right now, we must all stand together. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> the other aspect that dr. king focused on in his last year
was economic empowerment and economic development. if you read his last book, "where do we go from here, chaos or community," he addressed that. and he had a division of that in his organization, southern christian leadership conference, called operation bread basket, that would work with that. i became the youth director in new york at age 13, the year dr. king was killed, fighting to give blacks a piece of the pie. reverend william jones and reverend jesse jackson led that. and i grew up under that tutelage, i see yolanda caraway, i believe mignon moore is here somewhere, we used to pi ed td together until she became a big shot in washington, d.c. you have to work with those in office to understand how to make
the rules work but at the same time expand the playing field so that everyone can play and win on merit. and that is represented by the state comptroller of the state of new york who has opened new opportunities and has done it where the state has benefitted but the community has been included. honorable thomas de napoli. [ applause ] >> good morning, everyone. thank you, reverend sharpton, for setting the context for our martin luther king day celebration this year. your message of civility and inclusion and strength. it really is a privilege for me to join with all of you. martin, last night i stopped by the memorial for your dad, first time i had the opportunity to do that. and even though it was cold, it was warming my heart and it was an inspiration. and i loved the quote, out of a mountain of despair, a stone of
hope. our honorees that we're acknowledging this morning are truly stones of hope. congratulations to each and every one of you for your lives' work. bill clinton, you continue to be an inspiration to me. you've shown us how to win. i hope you've given folks good advice this year because we need to win as well, please, please. as reverend sharpton indicated, money moves things. markets move things. and when i first became comptroller, reverend sharpton visited me and he gave me a task and he said we have to do things differently. folks don't really know what comptrollers do, but you know it has something to do with the money. if we're going to have economic progress, we need to make sure that every community is empowered. and reverend, you know, in many states now, pension funds are moving away from deploying more capital to firms of color and women-owned firms.
in new york we're up to $20 billion now, firms, women, and minority-owned firms, managing our capital and putting money back into communities. we're going to continue that commitment. and money talks. we're going to continue to press our corporate boards as we all need to do to make sure that the corporate board of directors are as diverse as the people of our country, as diverse as the customers that they serve, as diverse as their employees. it's also where we don't put our money. we don't put our money into gun manufacturers anymore. too many school shootings. we have too many employees working in schools. our capital shouldn't be going to gun manufacturers. and private prisons. we don't want our money going there, that's no way to make money. and lee and randi, i don't think your members want us to put their money there, their pension fund money. so there's a big agenda. we all need to play a role. and dr. king's words continue to
stay with us. this is no time for apathy or complacency. this is a tame fime for vigorou positive action. i look forward to working with all of you for that vigorous and positive action that we all need. thank you. [ applause ] >> i want to ask martin to join me back onstage. ms. lombard, do you want to join me or do you want to sit where you are? i know how to embarrass you up to the stage. tanya lombard, please join us. and board member lee sanders, please join us. [ applause ] many years ago, in the '90s, as we wrestled with a pending
election in '92, many of us wanted to see the country go in a direction that we believed passionately. there were those that said that, no, we must imitate the reagan/bush era and go to the right. there were those of us pushing to the left. and then there were those that said we will come down the middle and try and win so that we can deliver things for people. it was during that time that i met then former governor, the governor of arkansas, bill clinton. and as i was attacking certain things, he said to me, al, the question is do you want to get things done or do you want to get on the evening news. it's all right with me either way. and as you grow in this, you
find that sometimes what you need to get done may not make the evening news. and some things that make the evening news to say not mean you got anything done. we are in a time where people no longer care at the level of the white house whether things get done. but whether we agreed on everything or not, we never felt that that president that sat there those eight years did not care about getting things done and done effectively. what he did in africa, what he did in terms of urban areas and development, what he did in other areas that we had dealing with racial profiling, we debated on the crime bill and other things but we got things done in areas that had not been touched. and then when he came out of
office, his foundation, dealing in africa, dealing in haiti, dealing with climate change, dealing with disasters, it showed that this was not something he did for politics. it was something that he believed in his core. i believe the ultimate honor is when people that have not always agreed with you can respect you and honor your work. and that is why i wanted, when tanya lombard and others said we should honor the president, bill clinton, i said, well, i did not always agree with him but i want to give him the award because it's honorable to have someone that was not always agreeable to you say that i respect the fact that you did things that made a big difference for me and for the nation that you presided over. may you join me in honoring the 42nd president of the united states, william jefferson clinton. [ applause ]
kidded him, i said now, now that you have been so great on this g diet and you got such a pretty r young body, you're going to be even harder to pin down, just moving around. the i thank you for the award and i thank you for the work that the national action network does. and i want to thank all of the people here who had anything to do with this reward, martin, ur thank you for continuing your ie work, thank you ford having met your mother's funeral, i love her very much, thank you, lee, r think i'm the only member ever
elected president and tonya, i thank you, you have been wonderful to me, in more ways than i can say, for a long timeo mayor bowser, thank you for coming. i supported the dc statehood and i tried to be a good -- [ applause ] >> i tried to be a good citizen of the district when i lived here. i thank todd danapoly and randy winegarten for what they do.or shehe doesn't ever get credit for you may not know. about nine years ago, i had one of my heaare-brained idea, hillary, said you get more ideas than everybody i ever saw, and some of them are good, but i ad went to the president of the afl-cio, and i said did you ever
think about what you could do with your pension money if you k just invested it in the infrastructure, and we got all of these construction workers cl working for unions where they'rf in trouble, and a lot of the oud public employee unions arere in great shape, and you need a diversified portfolio, think of all of the jobs you could k. create. he said ii' don't understand an ofof this. i'm going to give this to randye winegarten. she says okay, i'm do it.'s so i mean talk about a dog to the bone, she got on this, and here's the bottom line, they promised to put $10 billion in , infrastructure, they are00 now over $16 billion, they have created 100,000 jobs, including 15,000 in the laguardia airport project, but also involving your project in west virginia. there's one thing that could
bring working class white people together with the rest of america, rural and small town v america, back to urban and suburban america, it's having universal affordable broadband that everybody has. it's having a basic infrastructure program, you don't have to worry about all of that anti-immigrant record, nd you've got to be on the ground dge. physically where you are, building a road or a bridge, all that rhetoric, and she has prou spearheaded the whole national labor movement's work on that and i am very grateful and i'm proud to work with her on that. in my first term, i signed the bill that said the mlk day woule now be a day of service. i want to recognize the late john[app conyers whola introduct
bill for 15 years before it became -- [ applause ] >> and i want to thank john lewis, and the late harris walker for sponsoring the service bill, and i still remember what i did, when john lewis said, reverend sharpton noted, that it should be day on, not a day off, i still got my ay little day on, not a day off cap, and when i leave you today i'mi going to fly back to new york, and put my regular clothes on and wear my cap like i do every year on this day. i would like to say just a few words about where we are.
nothing that has happened these last three years has changed some fundamental facts. we live in an inter-dependent world. you are honoring, all of the e people you'rein honoring here today, including a young woman who was atat the parkland t weap shooting, thoseon kids did more than i ever did as president, we banned assault weapons, we had . background check law that worked for them, when there was no online gun sales, we had the lowest murder rate in 3 years, the lowest, 33 years, the lowesu illegal gun homicide rate in 46 years. don't forget that. and we did it partly because the african-american community, i got tired of going to schools ib 1992, and having kids look at me and beg me to get guns out of schools. begged me to make them safe fro. being shot by drive-by shooters walking to schools and walking
with cars. we had all of that, but it bone, was -- a and the public supportt it, but it wasn't deep in theiry bones a c voting issue. they didn't own it. the people who were against us,d it's all they cared about. and what happens in elections is intensity wins. people talking about this this . the other poll, it's like a picture of a horse race that's not over. i grew up in a town, i all of the people who disapprove of rt gambling will forgivera me but did grow up in a town that had a racetrack, and i don't have any race, i saw a picture of who was leading at the quarter, who was leading at the half, and then ae
secretariat comes in and wins. we have to be careful about his. this. we havesome to care. somehow, the children of parkland made this a voting issue. and the whole country owes you a lot for that. you did that. [ applause ] dr. king said that there is a book somewhere that captures our vigilance or our neglect. it's like our assets and liabilities. and i want to start with that. when you said you were a freedom writer and you were a southerner, it tickled me, because you said they don't own my culture, the people who don' disagree with me, and when i
wear this flag, they don't have the flag either, don't let anybody kid you. america at its best is a country of inclusive tribalism. our churches, our synagogues, our mosques, our temples, we like diversity. but it only works if you think our common humanity matters s ao more.re therefore, everyone you supporte should have one thing as a corea we should all live under the same set of rules, we should alo live underpp the same set of rus [ applause ] >> we have shoo ha, we should h the same opportunities.ess to should be15 issues we fighting about, but at the core
is universal easy access to vote. where the votes are counted. and a a vigorous attempt to sto foreign influence. at the core. [ applause ] then we ought to have equal economic opportunities. and i don't want to talk about that in any great detail except to say this, don't you let anybody tell you that we can't all grow together.co you just gotnomi to get rid of r trickle down and go back to bottom up economics. somebody asked me though, i have done an interview and said what you are most proudth of and i sd i am most proud of the fact we have
broad prosperity, and people will do a goo decent job, if they have a decent chance ani we moved literally a thousand times of pem out of poverty in the 1990s and in the 12 previous years. and we had the bottom 20% of the income groups, income increase y slightly higher h than the top n in d percentage terms. 20 times what they had before. we can do this again. i want you to believe that. we can do this again. and unlike, i mean i got, and i'm grateful for, it and i reverend sharptons, tha say, bu truth is, that all we got to do is have enoughto folks in congrs and we'll getet this done. you got to have a a majority in both houses, in the white houset and you get it done, and we will be amazed.ll not because all of us to loo politicians are geniusesk but because the american people wili do the right thing, if they have something to look forward to, when they get up in the morningl
and the most conservative states in america, there's been a rebellion againstab gutting the school budgets. people finally said, oh, it's bn not about culture, this is now my kid's brain, and my ns children's future. you to be happy today, there are no permanent affai victories, or defeats, in public affairs. you got to suit up day. and sho and push back every single day. but you just remember this. you don't have to give up your culture, and neither do the people who tdisagree with you.o they just got to get over themselves enough tointe realiz that what we have in common is more important than our interesting differences. we're still the best positioned country in the world for the 21st century because of our diversity. addition is betterr than subtraction. multiplication is better than
division. i can fill this room with the studies that prove diverse groups make better decisions thanea loneve her geniuses. so i want you to leave here with energy. those of us who are older now e have the gift of time, and i leave you, i'm going to see my ' frien' vernon jordan who is fighting to recover from a t tie terrible fall he, had. it doesn't take long to live a life. and in that time, you owe it to the past you had and the future children deserve, to be on the side of vigilance and not neglect. but do not despair.this for more than 225 years, everybody who has bet against t thisdr country. ki has wound upg money. because of what dr. long king s
about the ark of the universe being long, but advance towards justice, he was eloquent, and brief, reverend, so we left out a very important part, you got to do the bending.g. >> [ applause ] >> so i was honoreddone to serv president, i was honored to do the work i've done since, i bring you greetings from my wife who according to the "washington post" last week now has been the most exonerated person in history. that's a mixed bag,g,y. that means you've been falsely accused more than anybody. but there's still tomorrow. martin luther king only lived to be 39 years old.
but every day was filled not with neglect but with action. this is a day off. we should rejoice in this day, as we are commanded.t you do and not grow weary. because there's plenty to do. but don't you doubt it.te it tog can be done. we can grow together again.n. we canan vote together again. we can be viewed as a decent and reliable partner in the world again. and the most important thing is, we can give our kids the future they deserve again. god bless you. and thank you for this. [ applause ]
>> so it's not lunchtime. i have one request. i d my chief of staffid tina, who ia friend of many of yours, if you think i did okay, please tell her, because i got so many instructions, i can't remember whether i followed them all. thank you. >> president bill clinton. [ applause ] >> before i take the president out, i want to bring an honoree that is close to me and tina, i acknowledge as i do, bishop leo
daughtry is in the house. stand up. i didn't know the bishop. i got to go back to brooklyn where she is the boss. and in that end, a woman who started, came from oklahoma, came to washington, started as an on air personality, and built to where she bought the radio station that they were getting ready to change to other hands, and she kept building, her and her son even had a space in thei radio station sometimes to sleel there, and she built now the largest black-owned media network in the world. [ applause ] >> television stations, radio
stations, tonight, urban one celebrates 40 years of radio one, every one from jamie foxx to anita baker, to missy elliot, i'll tell you old folks later who missy elliot is, are there to salute this giant, this woman, who gave us a microphone and a mega phone. we would not have elected a lot of people that made office if we didn't have that microphone. we would not have been able to fight for voting rights, and fight from gina six all the wayc to rodrayvon mart physician we didn't have that microphone. we would not have seen a black president in the white house without that microphone.ce, when . martin luther king in hisy woul office, when they would start a campaign, he would say, reach upstairs because the radio m station is there, and they
dropped the mic down to his office and we talk on the sta station.ti wewe don don't' have to knock ot wall no more. o wewn, havetv stations of our o stations of our own, because a e woman paid a w price, and took e risk to make sure we were heard. may we honor in 2020 kathy hughes. [ applause ] >> first and foremost, i give
praise and thanks to god from whom all blessings flow. thank you. a big round of applause for our creator. [ applause ] >> we could have been anywhere else this yolander her morning, but we are here. yolanda, come over here with meh darling, she pitched me this morning for a television show. i told her that the youngest i havee ever worked with was 14 ad she said would you take 13 1/2. she's 11.ng y sool i'm herean this morning, announcing that this is my next discovery. i am signing yolanda king, all right, to her own talk show. on the tv one network. reverend al, you are getting me in trouble.ahoma. i'm not from oklahoma. that's our arch-rival. go big red. nebraska. i'm fromife they omaha. >> omaha. >> omaha. all my life, they said oklahoma, since i've been here, except in omaha. and also, reverend al was very n
modest, this evening, at 7:00, before our urban one honors h program comes on, we have an re he interview with reverend al,ad he where he admits that he is going to share some information on that show that he's never done before, so please, 7:00 p.m., '' not 8:00, don'tt be late, plea. and please, help us spread the word. reverend al, i'm so honored to be in your company. i, on saturday night, was ors to scheduled, i was honored at the king center, but the doctors told me that i was to stay off airplanes. today is my first day out of my house in 14 days, whatever the e bug is that is going around, i have had, i'm no longer contagious, thank god, but i told my doctor that hee had to i bring me in ass gurney, that i t going to be here, i that i
wasn't going to miss reverend al, noryou all you, president nor all you, the honorees. i thank you very much. reverend al started his media t career. ccont heract actually told the people msnbc, he had to first check his contract with me because i was his manager and consultant in ln media. ii shared my minutes with you. president clinton, so all i can say is thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of the support that theehas dc commun has givenu have d me, mayor bow haveve done an excellent job, co wen please give her a big round of applause.cr twoeato weeks before marion bero went to see his creator he th. calleded and said to me, cathy, want you to get behind muriel bowser, she isuch an cut from te bolt of cloth, and he was so right and we want you to be the
next mayor for life in the district of columbia. thank you very much.. remember the name yolanda king, t she is going to be our big media star. >> to present our labor leader of the year award, we are yea honored to havers, on our nati board for the last several years, the international president off afscme, lee saunders will make the presentation and the remarks.s. >> good morning, everybody. good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> before i introduce our honoree, you met earlier, randy winegarten, my partner, the american federation of teachersu i i also want to introduce to you someone who you are going to be hearing a lot about i cting t ofeve. right now he is the the acting president of the american federation of government employees, representing federalu servicese workers all across th
country. edward kelly is in the house and i would like evert to stand up if he could. where are you, evert?uce th evert is right here. evert kelly. thank you. it is my honor to introduce this next brother, who i have worked with for quite a while. he serves on the afl-cio executive council. serves on the afl-cio executive committee. and we coordinate our work together, we strategize together, he is the president, one of the most powerful unionsh iner this country. he's out there in the field. every single day. supporting his members of the international union of painters, and allied freight. he's from california, where he
graduated from california state inhe 1977. but most importantly, he grow within his own union. from a local union member, local 1288, an established a new local within the local, union 12 where he was elected business manager of that local union in 1993.inno in 1996, he began serving with the national union, as a general representative. 2002, he was elevated to the position of executive general vice president, and in 2013, he was unanimously elected to the office of general president by the iu past general executive board this. brother is the real deal. not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. and he's walked with me hand in
hand, shoulder to shoulder, all across this country. i want all of you to understand who he is, and what he's about. and what he does every single te day. not only for his members, but for working families across the country. he's committed. he's dedicated. and he is myim and hwith t broti and i am proud to introduce him. as, honor him with this award, ken rigmaden, please come up brother, where are you?
[ applause ] >> i'm, humbled. all the speakers that have ing o spoken here this morning, i really feel like i have to add something to it. but i'm humbled.t ma i'm going to dortin the best i andd talk about what martin luther king jr. means to me, wht what it it means to me persona what it means to me to be able to attend "i am 2018" but first, i want to thank you reverend sharpton, and the national action network, for this event.a and fornize inviting me to come speak.ju thank you for being an ally of s organized labor,io for your persistent efforts in the fight for economic and social justice, from corporate responsibility, to pension diversity, and fighting to ensure that every
person has a vote. also, as i look in this room, and hear all of the people that have spoken, and the people that are in this room, i got to say, to be able to stand before you, again, i feel like i'm in a room of friends. a room of people who really want to see something happen for ouri country. for our a room of folk who look at the international union of allied trades as an organization that is trying to be the best it can be, as a partner for us to go forward as a nation. in 2018, the iupat, was proud tt join afscme in memphis at the ath anniversary of dr. king's assassination, uniting with our allies in this movement for justice and equality, for those
who know that story, and that history, we must continue to retell it. we have to continue to retell it so that we reeducate and reenergize the youth and the new activists that the movement so n desperately needs.it is it's fueled by the past, the theme really is the only way meu that you can come under i important circumstances and there may ben some truth to tha, whether it's in the protests or, injustice, or rally for rights, the respect and dignity are a literal, a literal fight for out lives. trustpolitici me. i'mm no stranger to the soundin. alarm when our people are in danger, it be from politicians,s our policy. but there's an energy, there's an energy, there's a spark that happens when we come together oi
like kethis, en masse, that feer more like a battle cry to me, and for me to gain that experience was in 2018, that experience in memphis, with afscme far surpassed my expectations of an event to mark the anniversary of the assassination of the people's hero, dr. martin luther king jr. the pure emotion, the notion that we are present, we are ourt relevant, and we matter. when i look back at one of those most inspirational speeches in our history and the history of labor, there are two phrases that strike me as i stand before you today. the first one i'll mention when dr. king famously said, something is going on here in memphis. something is happening in our world. those words live on and ring h,
true today. something is happening right er here.e weca of thl now. and in the very communities where we all as americans call home. it's not the defeatte. of the spirit, of our movements, it's not thean slicing and silencingf people. it's quite the opposite. we're getting louder. we're getting stronger. and themen wh movement has been reignited. the torch has been carried by brave women who continue to ce march on washington, across the united states, and around the world. it's fueled by the passion and perseverance of the manyny who e fighting against unjust peru u tali, brutality and punishment. it is kindled byon, a leaders fighting against economic injustice and poverty by striving to protect an affordable education, a fair wage,th and workers' rights.
a second phrase by dr. king that is especially relevant to us in this day, only when it's dark, only when it's dark enough can g you see the stars. those words ring as true today as they did in 1968. the hardships that many americans face today have gotten our attention, they have pulled us together, and they have conoi united us. we are at a critical moment right now in america. in our history as a labor movement. and in our collective fight for equality and economic justice. just as we were back in 1968, 1968, when two men went to work every day to put food on the table and provide a meager living, in the hope, in the hopg that some day, breaking the
chain of poverty for their children and the generations after them were crushed to death, due to dangerous working conditions. the two men who were killed in that garbage truck, cole and robert walker, didn't die in vein. the legacy of their mistreatment didn't just upset the sanitation workers in memphis.un ittil rattled the souls of a nation. rattled the souls of a nation ov generations who demanded change until they got it. that message spurred by dr. king and the civil rights leaders who continued the fight after his death had reverberated around the world. but onn the precipice, on the precipice of the 2020 election, i got to ask you to go a step further and fight to unify our a cause. we're watchingnd 45 ignore and
times endorse those actions, anti-worker, anti-human, and numerous other actions that are tearing our nation apart, rather than bringing our nation together. those are not the values, those arere not what we need to have r the president that we chose. if we do not stand together, and demand leadership in action, ppt it's not what will it do to me, what will happen to me, it is what will happen to them.em what will happen? to them. what will happen to the sanitation workers in memphis.ia what will happen to the schoolteachers in west virginia. what will happen to the building trades, to the floor covering installers, to every craft that
needs to move forward? what will happen? it's not just me. remember thosese events of 50 years ago. and use that inspiration to fight for economic justice, to d fight for today's attacks on freedom of working people, and to fight for better leadership o in thisda country. now, we're not here mourning the death of dr. king today, but to? celebrate his message, and to carry out his dream, so how cana wein do that? we're going to ensure that america remain a land of opportunity. yes, a land of opportunity, throughtunity collective barga and career pipelines in our community, that will give people the opportunity to climb out of poverty, and to live a life with dignity and respect.
we will not, i said we will not hope for change, but demand action. dr. king had a dream, but he die something about it. he brought us together and he in helped usd fight. he inspired millions of people d to stand up and fight for what is right.co the stories andllec visions of . king will live and breathe and last forever, based on our m bym collective action.s. and what we do with that example, we'ree going to carry n dr. king's dream by making sure that it happens. me? as the general president of the international union of painters and allied trades, we will use u mys, voice in the building trad to make sure that it happens. we're going to keep using these words. us. we. and our. because that is the only way we can succeed as a country.th now,e mo for me, i started in t
life as the movement over 40 years ago, coming up through the ranks, as lee said, work can long hours with my hands, earning a meager but fair wage, bought i was afforded an opportunity. an opportunity to learn a amanyw and to negotiate my work. i was blessed to have that, but there are many who are not.undes there are many that we must keep fighting for. i stand here today with the reverend al sharpton, lae saunders, organized labor. my colleagues and cohorts, our
organizations and allies, and an all of you in the hopes that we as leaders can inspire leadership, action, and unity, just as dr. martin luther king e jr.rs did. we pray that by strengthening our message and our experience, that others become the fforde messengers in this movement. as equalrights. citizens in thi country. we are afforded certain dete inalienable rights.n rights towork order and protectd to order and protect these rights, we must exercise them with the dedication and determination that those striking sanitation workers did in 1968.acti [ applause ]on >> now, as long as i remain a member of this movement, as lonn asg the national action networ and afscme fights for other working people, working people will prevail. my name is kenneth remaden, i'm
a man, and we are the movement. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> all right. you know, our next award recipient reminds me of one of l my favorite quotes by bobby kennedy, bobby kennedy says theo future does not belong to thoseb who are fearful of bull projects and newew ideas but the future belongs to those who can blend passion, and courage into american society. joan t. mullhone is a hero. come on up, john.r king she sat in 50 sit-ins, sat alongside the martin luther king jr., med gargar evers, julian nash, diane bond, she is a
legend, she history. she ended up on death row, she is truly living civil rights history, please welcome john t. mullhole. >> i'm a little short. well, i saw somebody here with a sign for the other group, i want to give a sign for my sorority. come on, sisters. hey, i know ya'll are out there. okay. just had to get that in. now, we said, lift every voice and sing, we had the wores up '' there, but my fellow southerner, mr. president, he didn't have tn look at the words, he was barely
glancing that way, that says a lot for you andbu you can say ho arkansas, my daddy is from hope south dakota, but i'm still a southerner, he there is more than one hope, we got to have ia hope, folks. we got tostory or have hope.each i t want ithr tell a little stor two. i'm a southerner. we tell, we teach through telling stories.e more s we make our point by telling stories. i got some more stories. now, when they opened that civil rights museum down united in ja mississippi, the first state sponsored civil rights museum, in the entire united states, it was in mississippi, and they had the performance by some group, e and they were playing a medley, it was an orchestra type thing,e ase b medley of songs, and excu me, these bandanas do have somet problems. but there's a lot of things about bandanas, but i won't tell that story.
anyway, in the medley, they started with every voice, and en sang.around well, they had a civil rights veteran sitting up front, i was on my feet, and i looked arounde was standing up this old white lady was the first one to stand, and the only one, until gradually folks started standing, it was shocking, we got to remember where we came from, to know where we're going. now, my other story on lift y every voice and sing,month back the very early '80s when black history month was just becoming a thing, and you know, lady, wa everywhere, the local elementary school, the music teacher, a white lady, was looking for a n song-c to teach the chorus, she didn't want to teach a spiritua,
bau because we had a lot of other nonchristian folks in the school, buddhist, hindu, this are that, and the other and i said you could teach them lift every voice and sing. she hadn't a clue, but she . looked it up. and she not only taught the ati chorus, she taught every kid in the school, and we all sang it at a big international pot luck at the school.over and i bet the elementary schoolt over in arlington, across the river for you washingtonians, across the river, the elementary school there, i bet that was the first formally-all white school in the state of virginia to sing "lift every voice and sing." it was good. and you know, i wasn't sitting in anymore but i felt like i had made a difference. you know, my generation was, the
student who, you know, those bad kids, who were sitting in and s causing trouble ineverywhere, gd trouble, but trouble, and we sat in, at the lunch counters, we io satt in, oh, in the jail, of course, in the parks, in the cor courthouse, i got held in contempt of court once for sitting on the wrong side of th. courtroom in baton rouge. but i have no standing ywhere convictions, thank .you, suprem court. that was back in the day.have lj we sat in everywhere. and for those of you who have saw the movie "selma," they havn lbj talking to dr. king, with si all respect to dr. king, saying we can't have these sit-ins in the white house, he was talking to the wrong person. king didn't have nothing to do with that. that was the sncc student, the .
student nonviolent coordinating committee. and they are the ones who organized that. in fact, it was my idea. andnd i organized it. now, i didn't sit in, because i had one of them good governmentt jobs, but i organized it.eir i was, you know, somebody's got to be, i say everybody on the front line, somebody's got to be having their back, and the two groups are equally important, and about equal numbers, lbj to should have been talking to me.e i planned it. i organized it. and it was a group i belonged to who was sitting down.out th until they were quietly ushered out by thehe secret service. and i think was about that muchy in the "post" aboutou it. you can't hardly find anything
about it else.ll acc dr. king, i respect you, but you weren't the one behind it. well, i'll accept this honor on behalf of all of those sncc students of my generation, who g took it to theot streets, and t lunch counters, and jail.u. we got rid of legal segregation, but we still got a long way to go. thank you.. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> freedom rider. [ applause ] >> karine jean-pierre, an ding o activist inf these times, one that has a clear and i feel r,
profound understandingho of the days in which we live. as we honor her, we honor the continuity of struggle, for one generation, to the next, struggle doesn't end with any of us. it didn't begin with any of us.n that's whyow i'm glad that, i wt to acknowledge the head of our washington bureau in ebony rowdy, and she has been able to help run everything and she has coordinated this morning. come up. you've done an excellent job. and trudy grant's done an excellent job. m and minister tyree, come up, ker tyree mcmillan, this young man.s i me, always said that i wanted help make sure that national action network, these young folk
are doing that now he's got to learn a little bit of diplomacy because i was at the washington office not long ago and you all know, you that follow on socialn media and i work out every morning, at, before dawn, and i said, i feel good, i do two miles on the elliptical or two miles on the bicycle and weights every morning and i'm 65 years old and he said, you don't look a day over 70.ff a b so he was assigned back to the supply room. give my young staff a big hand. may we salute from moveon.org kraine jean-pierre. karine jean-pierre. karine: thank you, everybody.
thank you for having me and honoring me with this amazing award. >> thank you so much. thank you, everyone. thank you for having me. and honoring me with this amazing, amazing award. i want to acknowledge president clinton, cathy hughes, joan mullholland, kenneth mcmap mannen and, eastman, it is truly an honor to be standing here in this room with all of you. i want to thank reverend al sharpton and the national action network, for what you do for our community, day in, and day out. when i first learned i was going to receive this award from nan, i began, it's a visionary award and i'm like wow, this is really wonderful and i started to think, what does it mean to be a
visionary? what does that look like, to be a visionary? and it's maybe fitting that i am getting this visionary award on the day that we celebrate one of the greatest visionaries that we have known, the world has known, which is dr. martin luther king. well, reremember dr. king as one of the world's greatest orators he was a doer, leading marchers at marches and rally, and engages those who agreed with him as well as confronting those who didn't, with resound argument, and unmistakable message. dr. king worked to make his dream a reality, bit by bit, brick by brick, action by action. dr. king isn't a visionary because he had a vision of a world free from prejudice. many people shared that vision. no, martin luther king is a visionary because of the strength of his belief, that he could make the vision come true,
and was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. being a visionary doesn't always mean that you see things others can't. it means you believe in the things, you see, to the point that they are willing to give it all for the success of the vision. that idea of dreaming, of envisioning the future you want and then making it happen is the important one. because these last few years have been hard, and i think some people have stopped dreaming, but we can't stop dreaming. i want to tell you a story about a place that i came from, a place that my parents came from, a place where many visionaries lived and came out and it is a country actually known as haiti.
it was a country that had been colonized. the indigenous people white, and african slaves imported into a life of bondage but as my slave ancestors believed a different fate was possible. they staged a rebellion and won. it was the first-ever country -- [ applause ] >> -- founded by formally enslaved people, and deepened other's ideas about what was possible, and how much of the forces that they tried, the former slaves struggled for independence and their success was forever written in the annals of history and serves as the inspiration for many rebellion to follow. so when i talk about visionaries, those are the people i think of, because of the people who had the vision and the belief in that vision, i am here today.
i am the daughter of a taxi cab driver, a home health care aid, i'm the daughter of a country where things, my parents sacrificed and i was able it go to college and eventually end up working for the first black president of the united states, but most of all, ip am the daughter of the visionaries, the visionaries in haiti who imagine a better world, and then set out to create it. the visionaries here in the united states, like martin luther king, john lewis, ella baker, fanny lou hammer, and so many others, who also made this life possible for me. when i think about my life, i think about the gratitude i feel toward each of these visionaries, those who, those whose history has shown a light on, and those it has kept in the dark. these believers made this possible, for me. for me, and for you, too, i
suspect. that is what, why we can't lose sight of the power of our dreams, our vision, our imagination. nothing is as powerful as a dream believed in. nothing is as more powerful than dead kate, dedicating your energy to make that dream a reality. dreams are what ended jim crow and got the civil rights act passed. dreams are what got daca passed and saveed so many undocumented young people from being deported. from the only home they've ever known. dreams are what led edith windsor and theo spire to dedicate, to spend their lives, to spend together, decades before edith windsor went to the supreme court to fight for marriage equality and won. when we believe in our dreams, we make them come true. dr. king had a dream, and more importantly, he believed in it. dedicated his entire being to make that dream a reality.
but visionary status isn't just reserved for a select few. anyone can be a visionary. all it takes is a dream, and the will to make that dream a reality. so i challenge all of you, what's your dream? what do you want this world to look like? how will you make it happen? will you dedicate your entire being? all that you are? to see that dream come true? because everyone who has dreams, it's your ability to believe in that dream, to make it count. thank you. [ applause ] >> as we give our last award,
this young lady as president karine said was part of a movement that had moved america. she has been with us several times at nan, because she shows the leadership, the tenacity, of a dreamer. may you help me and honor her and her work and her co-workers, our martin luther king 2020 youth award, from the activists in the parkland shooting warrior, eliah eastman.
[ applause ] >> i am a 2019 graduate from marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland florida and now a freshman at trinity university here in washington, d.c. [ applause ] >> on february 14, 2018, my high school was struck with terror. 34 of my classmates and fellow staff members were shot. 17 were killed. i was in my fourth year in holocaust history class, and may classroom was the third classroom struck by the perpetrator, six of my classmates were shot and two of them were killed. i had to hide underneath one of my classmate's lifeless bodies to survive, since then, i have been vocal about that violence particularly in black and brown communities. and talking about high school, and mass shootings that is 2% of gun violence and i felt like the
conversation needed to be shared across the country with black and brown communities that bear the burden of gun violence daily. it was very close to my heart because i had been previously struck by gun violence. i lost my uncle 16 years ago in brooklyn, new york to gun violence as well. i want to thank you guys for having me it too here today but i would also like to take this moment to thank my fellow activists who are with me, tatiana and my friends over there. can you guys stand up? [ applause ] a lot of people don't realize all of the hard work that goes into it. and all of us have been previously impacted. tatiana lost her aunt to gun violence in milwaukee, wisconsin. robert lost his sister at my high school. kaly turn ser a graduate from columbine high school and her close friend, lost to suicide by a gun. we have all been impacted by gun
violence no matter how old we are. but gun violence directly impacts youth of color, and i am going to continue to share my platform with those who look just like me. thank you guys for giving me the platform to speak today. [ applause ] >> we thank all of you for coming, and bill will close us out, let the record show while there are those who are watching in virginia, we saluted the young folk from parkland, and eliah, saying, we must have sensible gun control. thank you. [ applause ] >> at this time, we would like to acknowledge those that, without them, this breakfast
would not be possible. can a representative from each sponsoring organization stand as i call your name? at&t? mastercard. uber. comcast uber. comcast/pepsico. macy's. coca-cola. reynolds american. charter. 1199 seiu. t-mobile. ask me. ing. aaa. please give it up for our sponsors. [ applause ] plaus >> i would like to bring trudy grant up now, please. trudy. give it up for trudy grant. [ applause ] >> good morning, everybody. just wanted to let you know how beautiful you look out there. i am sure you are going to look exceptionally well as this broadcasts all over the country. i am just standing to invite all of you to our national action network national convention. if you enjoyed this, this is only a portion of what we do
every year. last year we had about 15,000 people come through with all of -- at that time the presidential candidates were there with us. so this is our invitation to you to join us. registration is absolutely free. say that again, and i want you to say it with me, registration is absolutely free. so we look forward to seeing you at the sheraton times square. the dates for our convention are april 15th through april 18th, 2020. we do have representatives that can walk you through getting registered, but we certainly look forward to seeing you there. again, until next year, until this same time, this same station, thank you so much for being here with us. [ applause ] >> and as we close, ladies and gentlemen, my favorite quote from dr. king is we are all tied
together in a single grommet of mutual destiny. i hope you are all going out for a day of service. god bless you and happy mlk day. weeknights this week we have featured american history tv programs as a preview of what is available every weekend on c-span3. tonight we focus on president ronald reagan, beginning with celebrities who participated in a variety club international televised tribute hosted by frank sinatra. then ronald reagan's white house political affairs director, frank donatelli with historian craig shirley on reagan's campaigns for the white house. that is followed by historian marcus switzer, exploring reagan's foreign policy towards the soviet union during the 1980s. enjoy american history tv every night and on the weekends on
c-span3. the first votes of campaign 2020 are just days away. watch our unfiltered coverage of the iowa caucuses live, monday, february 3rd, as we follow the candidates on the campaign trail, take you inside caucus voting sites and show live caucus results beginning at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at cspan.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. up next, a congressional gold medal ceremony for former nfl player steve gleason who played for the new orleans saints. he has received the congressional gold medal for advocacy on als, a disease he has had since 2011. we'll hear from congressional leaders and steve gleason's former teammate, quarterback drew brees.