tv National Action Network Hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast CSPAN January 17, 2017 12:02am-2:49am EST
the free c-span radio app. >> from martin luther king day, the national an action network held at breakfast in washington dc. speakers included reverend al sharpton, the d.c. mayor, you jus new jersey senator cory booker. this is just under three hours. [applause] >> happy king day. happy king day. there we go. now then, reverend sharpton, distinguished guests, and the honored friends with us. one of my favorite quotes is
life's most persistent and pressing question is what are you doing for others? he was asking this many times of people who have very little, if anything. i have a lot of friends in this room. many of you know my story. many of you know because i told you about how my mom, i grew up in a small eastern washington town. my mom was a domestic part-time bus driver. dad was a construction worker. on-again off-again unemployed. the first member of my family to go off to school. the reason i was able to go to school is one of the white women my mom kept house for. this white woman heard my mom one day praying.
debbie allen. she said, please, ma'am. she said, elise, if it is at all possible and your son truly wants to go to school, my husband fred and i have decided that we will pay his way. and because of that, i was able to go to college. but as paul hervey used to say, the rest of the story, what are you doing for others? he would do this for people that had nothing. getting ready to go to college, senator booker. getting ready to leave from that church. those people came out there that had nothing. mr. dylan brought me a pot of
greens. sister osborne had a peach pie. tonya had a pound cake. she only gave me half a pound cake if i put it together. when mom got ready to give me all of the money because dad told her to, she realized she couldn't do it because she had another child at home. i had to take what she gave me and go with that. but i went off to college and everything worked out fine. today, as you get ready to go
out, make sure you understand all of the money because dad that if dr. king was here, you would want you to know it's not a day off. it's a day on. go out and do something to make this world a better place. pastor marquez ball will get us off and running. let us pray. we call upon you, lord god, because through the years, you have been sustaining oppressed people.
elijah was tired and worn. you blessed him with it. not only that, you blessed grandma with the leftovers. lord god, we are praying now that you can bless the food we are able to have at the mayflower hotel because there are those that came before us who march to give us an opportunity to have this breakfast. the journey before us is long. and we need to be sustained. we are praying that as we are sharing on this day, honoring one of our long-lasting servants. we pray that you will bless the
food. that it will sustain us and encourage us to see what it's going to be. we love you, we praise you, and we thank you. in jesus name, amen. >> it gives me great privilege now to introduce a man that has picked up the mantle of civil rights in so many ways. he has opened up the doors for leadership in women in his organization when it was not cool to do so. he has made it possible, and you see these young people doing every manner of operation inside that organization. a man constantly on the run. the energizer bunny.
he speaks truth to power. encourage us to see what it's the loft and those that can't speak for themselves. he is being used as a stage where others can shine. a man who i can honestly tell you tripped me out when i first went to new york and met him. it is a place called a house of justice. he was there. ladies and gentlemen, anyone who can create a house of justice, we need to hear from them. and we will do just that. they brought all of us together with this idea. the reverend al sharpton.
[applause] rev. sharpton: let me first wish everyone a happy king day. let us not forget that even this march and petition and fight to make a national holiday. those of us that have been involved in the struggle for civil rights, take this day more seriously than those that just take a three day weekend.
because dr. king represents the struggle for human rights and civil rights. and even this holiday is a result of a civil rights effort led by his wife, miss karen led by his wife, miss karen escott king if you look at the area -- if you look at everyone, they celebrated that last year. her last five healthy years would come every year. today, her son is among those in the president-elect. as i think of donald trump, many of us marched on saturday kicking off king weekend. thousands of us despite the icy rain and despite the fact that there were all kinds of
predictions about even worse weather. i thought about how ronald reagan once called martin luther king a communist. ronald reagan ended up having to sign to make today a federal holiday. [applause] the same ronald reagan that denounced dr. king is the same president that signed to make today a federal holiday. president-elect trump, in the spirit of ronald reagan, ought to call john lewis. [applause] he ought to deal with the issues of today. he ought to, on king day, be king like.
don't act like on the national chess, don't behave like a pond if you've been made a king. it's time for us to get bigger. and that's what dr. king did. i hope he reaches out to john lewis. i hope that he and senator booker at some point with the congressional black caucus. i would hope that he would meet with all the civil rights leadership, but not photo lineup's, to deal with the issues we march about -- voting rights, health care, and police reform, as well as jobs. we need serious discussion about serious achievement that need to
be done in this society. that is why we carefully select and free year who we honor. the year dr. king was assassinated -- i became youth director at 13 to his new york chapter. seriously those that we feel have come in the tradition of dr. king, that we honor on king day. on a holiday that we have to fight to get. and let me preface this by acknowledging them that come up that movement. melanie campbell. [applause] where is melanie?
and a member of our board. our national board, the metropolitan baptist church, one of our honorees who details me even ifey pays tides he's not in his seat. [applause] ain't no ethics violation to pay tithes. [laughter] lombard.ber tonya [applause] our first award today goes to a man that i feel has symbolized 21st century politics.
politics in this century is defined differently. but at the same time, it continues in the same boundaries. there are those that try to act like reaching people on a grassroots level is something new. politics has always been about the bottom-up rather than the top down. whether you are an elitist sitting in some ivy league school analyzing from an ivory tower, whether you're on social media talking to folks that already like you. you must break outside of your boundaries.
and move the nation forward. this person has personified that as far as i've known them. he became involved on the ground. and was elected the mayor of north new jersey. he stayed on the ground for the state of new jersey. he has not been afraid to take positions that he knew would get him attacked from the right and the left. that is why he is so representative of the spirit of dr. king, and people that have reached levels to approach greatness. dr. king said, you measure a man or woman not by where they stand
at the time of convenience, but where they stand at the time of controversy. if every decision you make is easy, it means you are just an easy person. real leaders face hard consequences. it is understood and took a seat -- when cory booker decided to break what is understood as senate courtesy and took a seat to testify against a fellow senator for the office of attorney general, and made it clear -- i have nothing personal against him, we work together and agree on some things -- but say too principled to not the definition of what the office he is being nominated for
does not fit some of the positions he has taken. that was the spirit of a dr. king saying, that lyndon johnson is my friend but the war in vietnam is wrong. king, weirit of dr. give our first award from the national action network to the senator from new jersey, senator cory booker. [applause] cory always reminds me and how i say that john lewis and jesse in them are a generation ahead of me and i'm a generation ahead of his. i will jump down to show him i'm not that old.
[laughter] [applause] senator booker: the reverend and i have known each other for a very long time. politics in the black community, you agree with someone one day and against someone the other day but you always know your brothers in the cause. i think most of my elections, and has been with me. he has always treated me with respect, dignity, and courtesy. he is slightly an elder. not that much. he has modeled, for me, what grace and being a gentleman is. for that and many other things, i am deeply appreciative. i am appreciative of the fact
that this is 25, now 26 years of the national action network. what i love about the national action network and a lot of great people in this room who are a part of that is that we are action. now more than ever, people have to remember what king talked about. he said change will not role in on the wheels of inevitability, it must be carried in on the backs of people who want to work for it and shovel for it and sacrifice for it. to repent forave is not the vitriolic words and violent actions of bad people, but we know the words of -- but the appalling silence and inaction of the good people. faith without works is dead. we know the words of frederick douglass. i prayed for years for freedom but i was still a slave. it wasn't until i prayed with my hands and my feet that i found the freedom. i am here right now not because
people in the course of outrageous obstacles simply sat back and hope something would happen. they put forth a monumental effort. i am here today because people who saw incredible challenge that did not affect them personally -- that is the thing we have to understand. the worst kind of privilege is the privilege that says there are serious problems out there, but they don't affect me. so they don't demand my engagement. i know that i owe a lot to my community. the last 20 years, i have lived in newark, new jersey's central ward. interestingly for me, most of that time i have lived on martin luther king boulevard or 100 yards from it. i got my ba from stanford but my phd on the streets of newark. i will tell you right now, some of my greatest professors of my
life i found in martin luther king boulevard. king boulevard, i have to tell you, it is an incredible street. my church sits right off the street. it has great colleges and universities. but at the south end of that street during the late 1990's it was off the hook. there was violence and drug dealing and challenges. when i first moved into that street, there was a tenant president that once sat me down and said, young man, what do you see around you? i described the problems of the street and she said i can never how her. i remember running after this elderly woman and grabbing her from behind -- very respectfully, mind you. she said the world you see outside of you is a reflection of what you have inside of. if you only see problems and despair that is all it's ever going to be.
what if you are one of those stubborn people who every time you open your eyes you see hope, you see love, you see possibility, you see the face of god, then you can be one of those people that helps me. my career started their. i was still a law student when i began working with great leaders like miss virginia jones. i am proud of that work -- nothing i have done in my life has satisfied me more than taking on the bad actors in that community. when i moved into those buildings, the lessons i learned more often came from my brokenness then my successes. it came from my failures. that's what i want to share with you today. understanding that we come from a broken reality.
though we sit here today and comfort, somebody is perhaps serving the food today that works a full-time job and still lives at or below the poverty line. understanding that we live in this broken reality is knowing that we sit here today knowing that children that are homeless, 40% are gay and lesbian teens because they are still facing outrageous hatred and bigotry. even though we declare ourselves so progressive but we have such violence against gay and lesbians. we live in a broken community where instead of dealing with issues of mental health, instead, we stigmatize it and take an inordinate amount in our jails and prisons. where they face inhumane conditions. we stand here today in a time of brokenness. because we still live in a country where the environmental
,oxins in which kids live in where children have four times and otherf asthma neighborhoods and communities. i say this just to bring you this conclusion -- when i was living in rick towers and chasing after the big goal and the big dream, the lesson that i got was that activism just doesn't happen during presidential campaigns. activism has to be an everyday choice that you make. i would come home at night. i lived on the 14th -- the 16th floor. i would come home at night and have these kids that hung out in the lobby, first at 10 or 11, and one of them was my dad incarnate, raised by his grandmother for a time and born poor.
both of them born in segregated environments, my friend hassan washington. these kids, i watch them grow up. i lost the election in 2002 and now the weight of 2006, i saw signs. one day i came home and felt something i hadn't felt so pungent since i was at stanford university. i smelt the marijuana. but we live in a nation with two different justice systems. a bunch of guys smoking pot at stanford get a very different treatment from the law as people smoking pot in the inner-city. we know in america right now there is no difference in drug use between blacks or whites. but if you're black, you will be arrested for it about 3.7 times more likely to be arrested. and the kid that is arrested in places like i grew up or places
like stanford, they will get out of jail. we have a justice system that treats you so much better if you are rich and guilty then poor and innocent. you have a kid that is arrested, a kid in my office the other day -- you often sit in jail for weeks or months just waiting for your trial, often in solitary confinement. should you get out for doing things the last two presidents have admitted to doing, you face a felony charge were you can't get a job, can't get a pell grant. can't get food stamps, public housing. suddenly, your life options are constricted. walking into that lobby, what might've been humorous at stanford university was a crisis for me in the lobby. i'm going to intervene.
i'm going to take these kids out. what you guys want to do? let's go to the movies. that choice because i let them choose the movie to go to. i sat through a movie called saw 2. why they would make a 2, i don't understand. i took them to my favorite diner. i brought friends of mine, not from the suburbs, but guys who have been involved in the kind of activities -- they could mentor them and i was getting excited. but i got busy with the bigger mission. and i did not follow through with these kids. suddenly our was running for mayor again.
in my mind, i thought to myself, i'm fighting the big battle. i would come home and the kids would still be in that lobby. they followed through by lifting me up. they would look at me and say, we got your back. they say, don't vote for me because your only 17. i came home and they had lawn signs. was a parade.it they cheered me on. this time, it rose up from their energy and i was feeling high until i thought, where do they get those lawn signs? they're expensive! [laughter] booker: i won the election.
and the fbi warned us that i had death threats. i had police officers stationed in the basement of our building. i was mayor now. housing authority was a partner of mine. i had influence to do some good things with them but the police were always there. so the kids never hung out in so the kids never hung out in the lobby. i decided i would be out there. when violence happened, i would walk to the street corner. i talked to people. every time i could, the violence was the biggest issue. it was august and i get called to a street corner. there's a body covered up. to anr one being taken ambulance.
i acknowledge the humanity that played out. working 18-20 hours days. i get home that night. i decided check the police stats for the day and i look to the police report for a murder and i stopped. because the name i saw of the murdered boy was hassan washington. from my building. four floors living below me. the mayor, from my lobby. he was my dad incarnate. my dad who told me he got where he was not just because of hard work. but because of people that were
there for him. mentoring him. lobbying him. he said he was the result of people who did not let him fail. i will never forget his funeral. i have been to too many funerals. it was down in that basement room. i hated going to that basement. it's like you're descending into the bowels of a ship. and there it was, a packed room. filed in on top of each other. another every day reality. a boy in a box. dead. and the world was not stopping and not taking notice. but in that basement, i was drowning in grief. i was mayor of the city now.
but nothing could reverse the truth of my failure. and i felt shame as i stood there and people walked to me for comfort. but i was leaning on their light. i'm embarrassed to admit this. i couldn't stay. i turned to my new security officer and i said, we got to get out of here. i jumped in my new nice suv and drove to city hall. i ran up the stairs because i didn't want to have to look another person in the eye. i slammed the door to my mayor's office and sat on that new couch in that palatial room. and for the first time, not the last -- but for the first time, as mayor of new jersey's largest city, i sat there and wept. all i could think to myself is that i failed my father's legacy. all i could think as all of us were there crowded it not funeral home for that boy's
death was where were we for his life? [applause] senator booker: i want to tell you right now, i am a u.s. senator. i am proud of the people i get to serve every day. i am grateful that i am the fourth elected african-american of this position in the history of our country. but where were we for his life? [applause] senator booker: i am proud of the people i get to serve every day. i am grateful, but i am telling you this now. all my life now close back to martin luther king boulevard. i have a great community. i may not have a community of great wealth. the median income in my neighborhood is $14,000 a person. but the richness of that community, i will never forget. they loved me even when i did not deserve it. i will never forget waking up that morning after the death of another teenage boy, and walking
out of my building into the lobby, and as i walked to the lobby, i just remembered that in 1980's, a woman's son was slain in that lobby and she did not leave the building. the people whom a the most money were the people who lived there. she could have walked up but she did not leave. miss virginia jones. here i was feeling my pain and grief and i walked to the lobby and remembered she went through that and i come out of the lobby feeling like i am 100 feet underwater drowning, and there i see her. her back is turned to me. i stopped in the lobby and i look across at her and she must have heard my thoughts because she turned around the and looked at me and said nothing.
all she does is do exactly what i needed. she opened her arms. i am 6'3", a big man. she is a small woman. i scurried across the courtyard like a child and jumped up into her arms and she held me close, and she rubbed my back as i cried again on her shoulder and she started saying these two words over and over to me softly, whispering them into my ear. that is my message. the two words she said, that is the message i have. the people who want to surrender to cynicism, the refuge for cowards and people who do not want to fight. this is my message. for people who do not understand that hope does not exist in an abstract. hope is always a response to despair. hope is saying despair will not have the last word. this is my message to those who want to fret and dismay about
the current state of our political affairs. this is the message i have that the people who forget where we come from, that we have been that daniel in the lion's den but we have rose up. we have been tied down. we have been at the bottom of the well but we rose up. we have been tied down. ready for the sacrifice, but there was a ram in the bush. she rubbed my back over and over again. this woman who had seen challenges and heart aches. things i would never know. in her arms, she rubbed my back
and she said two words. she said stay faithful, stay faithful, stay faithful. [applause] sen. booker: i want to tell you now, remaining awake through a great revolution, said let me close by saying what martin luther king said. we have difficulties ahead for the struggle for peace. but i will not yield to a politics of despair. i will maintain hope as we come to washington in this campaign. the cards are stacked against us. this time, we really confront a goliath. god grant that we will be that david of truth, the goliath of neglect, refusing to deal of problems to make america not great again, to make a gift -- to make america truly great in the way it is called to be. i tell you right now.
we are not powerless. i was walking -- the most, way people give up the power is not realizing they have it in the first place. we cannot allow our inability to do everything to undermine our determination to do something. we cannot get caught up in the state of sedentary agitation where we are sitting on a couch so upset about what is going on, we fail to realize we have got to do something about it. this is the national action network. [applause] sen. booker: no action in the cause of justice, helping a child, mentoring a brother, speaking out and standing up, no how small theer cause of justice is ever wasted.
we are here because of the small acts of others. i and with the word of a great poet who challenged us to end our words with actions, not just put your hand on your heart and pledge allegiance to ideals and not be willing to sacrifice. he called on us to declare an oath, not with our words, but our actions. let america be america again. the land never has and yet but yet must be, where everyone is free, the poor man, the indian, the negro, who made america, whose sweat and blood and pain, pain, who must make our mighty dream live again. america never was america to me but i swear this oath, america will be." the poet was langston hughes,
may we make our nation great and real, not just for the powerful and privileged few, but the beautiful and dignified all. thank you. [applause] >> senator cory booker. give him another hand. [applause] rev. sharpton: when dr. king was organizing in the south, his headquarters was in the middle of the black community. , i me acknowledge though
must acknowledge the head of our washington bureau who does such tremendous work. pointganized and was the person for the march on saturday that people saw oliver the world. most of our chapter leaders and staff are under 40-years-old and she represents the personification of continuing the tradition of the king-type movement. which the network unashamedly is. i want you to give a hand to ebony riley. -- represents -- you know, the bible goes and continuity. everybody thinks they have to do something new.
what you do is be able to continue turning the wheel in a new way. works. it and we represents that are very proud of her leadership and what she does. our older staff members, the reverend upstairs, probably breaking up his potato so he can eat it. ahead of our chapter, we are glad to have all of them. [applause] rev. sharpton: dr. king would share a building with the black radio station. when they were involved in the campaign, they would knock, knock on the wall and mrs. kingwood tell them to drop their mic so het their
could talk and rally people around where ever he was going. we have come a long way from passing the mic outside the window in being able to communicate to black america only in a small amount of miles. because of him and others we were able to get some ownership. but no one perfected it more and took it more seriously than our next honoree, kathy hughes. [applause] rev. sharpton: kathy hughes started with nothing.
came to new york, came to washington, rather, and began on radio and by chance was able to take over a station she was on. she struggled, her and her son, who is here with her today. tv one.of radio to live in the radio station, but she kept building. in let us be honest. she not only had to face racism in terms of getting finances and bank loans. sexism from even womenmen who felt black should not be at the level of business that she was at. and that felt that they were only something to date, particularly when you are as attractive as she is, rather than someone they had to sit
across the table and take care of business. but she, for generations to come, broke through the walls of sexism and racism and sits here today as the largest and undisputed communications person in the diaz brough. diaspora. there is no one black in the world that owns 58 radio stations and a television network. [applause] rev. sharpton: i checked my research because she will get appear and correct me. we don't even have governments in africa that own that. and this woman did it by with and determination and
fate -- and this woman did it by wit and grace and determination and faith in god. and never ever forgot why she did it. her mission was to give voice to our community and our culture. when others ran from us, she ran to us. when others forgot us, she never let us forget ourselves. there would not have been a movement that has continued into the election of president barack obama and has reformed in some areas, had we not had a microphone, whether it was gina, trayvon martin, barack obama for president, police reform in staten island or ferguson, we had a microphone that was paid for by the sweat and blood of this woman.
[applause] rev. sharpton: so we don't depend on others to tell our story. we can turn on the mic she has given us and speak for ourselves to ourselves. and even have the television network that even those that you cast on the debris of time, unsung and tell their story. on tv one. it is with great pride that we award the woman who has taken us from silence and made the world hear us unadulterated and unmolested. the queen of communication. the mogul media businesswoman, our voice, our godmother, still
fine and still telling me that is enough, get off the stage, kathy hughes. [applause] kathy: first and foremost, i give praise and thanks to god, from whom all blessings flow. can we please give our great creator a round of applause. [applause] ms. hughes: reverend al, thank you. i will take you on the road with me. i like that it reduction. senator booker, so touching. how brilliant. thank you, thank you, thank you. can we give him another big round of applause? i have got a lot to say.
but senator booker used everybody's time. [laughter] kathy: and we were happy to give it to you, ok? a couple of things i really want to say, particularly to you, reverend alfred charles sharpton -- my son's name is alfred charles. i do not believe in coincidence because i believe god creates pathways for us to cross in each other's life. i think when i was moved to name my son the same as your mother was moved to name you, i had a special bond with you that goes back even further than 25 years. i want to thank you for keeping the blueprint for activism alive. because of what you have done, because of how you used your life and how you used your blessings, black lives matter could come along and have traction.
movements can be activated. i chuckled because president-elect trump wants to talk about what he is going to do. the one thing he has damn sure done is reactivated activism, ok? folks are awake now all right? so he has had his first major accomplishment because everybody is going to be on his behind. but you kept the blueprint alive on how to effectively represent your community and get things change.fectuate one thing to be upset and protest and protest. it is another thing to have a plan. everybody can identify the problem, particularly when it directly affects you. very few of us can come up with solutions on how to fix that so we do not keep repeating it. thank you. can we please give him a big round of appreciation applause? we love you, reverend al.
[applause] kathy: so, yesterday, for the first time since my son, who is a lot younger than now, he spent the day in church with me because reverend al kept us in church all day yesterday with a program i have got to talk about for a moment, a partnership, our company, the national action the university of phoenix. the university of phoenix is totally committed to seeing to it that things change between the company he works for a lot of people do not realize, a lot of black folks attend the university of phoenix online
because they work, and the university of phoenix is not like trump university. it is the real deal at the university of phoenix. you not only get a quality education, but you get a credential that other people recognize, which is very important. mr. jones identified for schools in fact. but the one we were in all day yesterday right across the street from the school is the middle school. he has identified if we do not catch future generations by the the time they are in middle school, we are in trouble. what the university of phoenix has also identified under his leadership is the large number of teachers and classrooms, particularly in urban areas that did not major in education here and when you major in education, they teach you how to control a classroom. they teach you how to understand and see paths, what is in front
of you with that child. you spend four years learning how to prepare children for the future. well what has happened with the , economy being what it is, just about everybody with a degree who cannot find a job in their discipline, guess what they do? teach in the inner cities. so what mr. jones, under the this triangle, nan, radio tv one and the university of phoenix put together, is the program specifically geared to inner-cityrs in
junior high schools who do not have degrees in other disciplines to teach them how to be teachers, because if you have teachers who do not know what they are doing, you cannot accept a child to do well in high school and college. it is totally out of the question. reverend sharpton does a lot of things with a lot of various organizations that people do not know about. yesterday was a classic example. hearing the principle of the school talking about the difference this will make, it is a two-pronged program. first is to train the teachers. secondly, it is a 14-week ongoing program for the parents who also do not know how to help their children. how do you identify the fact that your child is not the level they should be? how do you know how to help them with new math when you fought and flunked math yourself because you were in the same inner-city school in that same public housing development that cory talked about? so you did not get what you needed. so this course, this partnership is something new for the
national action network. so important. we are honored to be a part of it so we can get young people on the right path before it is too late and they become a high school dropout. i share this story with you this morning because i looked across the room and i saw michelle e. banks and then and decision-makers. i saw marcela jones, barbara jackson, people in here who can move needles on supporting these types of programs around countries. it does not take a lot. most of the teachers want the training. individuals in these inner-city classrooms really want to do a better job but do not know how or where to go. so i share that story with you this morning as just one more thing the national action network under the leadership of the incredible alfred charles
to get involved in. take a look around. a junior high school or elementary school in your area that has the same problems i just described this morning that you could not make a difference with this and partnered with howard university and believed or another school or an online school like the university of phoenix because if we do not change the direction of our youth, all of us will be dinosaurs. we will be extinct in the african-american community. our future is in trouble. so as i accept this today, i excepted on the behalf of those babies that man is now addressing that need our help. they are being warehoused and it is easy for them to be warehoused in the prison. we warehoused them in grade school and junior high school.
so going to prison was just the next transition in their life. we have got to stop it here. i want to thank all of you who braved the weather on saturday. 10,000 people in d.c. showing up in the sleet is a big number. d.c. is an interesting city. we do not mess with rain, snow, sleet, or hail in washington, d.c. no, we will take on the president and vladimir putin and anyone else, but we do not mess with mother nature in this city. we will stay home and washington, d.c., when the weather is bad. we are known for that around the world. reverend al, for you to be able to pull 10,000 out in that weather, i know people watching president obama pauses inaugural on television because that was one of the days, and they are like, i watched every minute of it although i did not fight make it down to the mall.
[laughter] kathy: thank you. i appreciate this very much. i think god each and every day that i'm used as a vehicle to provide a voice to the community. i thank you very much for this honor. [applause] rev. sharpton: kathy hughes, give her another hand. [applause] rev. sharpton: let me say as i present this next award, i wanted to particularly recognize as we say generations keep strengthening and keep advancing, there is no one i know that has made us more proud in the tradition of kathy hughes
then the convener of the largest gathering of african-american culturally you and educationally every year. and the publisher of the unquestioned bible a black women. own michelle of the essence magazine. up, michelle. give her a big hand. [applause] rev. sharpton: every year, you don't even have to ask people at the major airports where you going? we just show up and they give us our tickets.
go three days early now because they sell out. that is where everybody goes. if -- toleans for stop new orleans. fourth ofnot on the july in new orleans, you are not really black. michelle is the only one i know who makes a 17 hour plane ride you like it is all right. your grandmother and all of that but you have a private plane now. not buy that for you. you know, everybody was feeling but i want you all to know you live in a mansion, got a private jet and grandma did not buy that.
cory still lives in the middle of it. i need my navigator to get to your house. issues of critical our time is criminal justice. said something that is true. there are those that talk about things and then there are those that do things. in the midst of this great debate, one man stood up. in the south. and said that i am going to restore the voting laws of those served their time and served the time the lawmakers put on the books they are
required to do but they should have the right to vote on lawmakers again. towas and is not proper stand up in virginia and do what this government did. he has not only done that, he didn't and they bought it. went to court and everything and stood there as anyone that is a true believer in civil and voting rights would do. standing there is the of and are --virginia to restore rights as the governor of virginia to restore rights. there is only -- that is only one example of his standing when -- proper.property and at the same time providing a new leadership that has national ramifications.
into thehe brought states. the standing on various human rights issues. refusing in the deep south to act like yesterday. bringing the deep south into a new-deeper understanding of what we must do. it gives us great comfort to new president only has to look across the border at virginia and find out what is really possible in america in regions that we used to label as one way. going another are way. i have known him a long time. when i ran for president there were those that said to him, sharpton is a troublemaker, don't let him into the debate.
he said, he is a candidate. they said, the rules are you can't say certain things in your speech. -- we met before i spoke and he kind of said to me, do you have your speech? do what you got to do. and i did. applause] reverend sharpton: we have been in the trenches together but i have never been more proud than fought forod up and restoring voting rights in the state of virginia. he is the governor of the commonwealth of urgent. he is the simple and voting champion. we honor him today. governor terry mcauliffe. [applause]
mcauliffe: good morning everybody. come on, good morning. you are only two miles from virginia. move your businesses, move your families over there. to thank you all for being here and i do want to thank reverend sharpton. we've known each other for two decades. you will not find a more passionate advocate for civil rights than reverend sharpton. we had a lot of fun. when he ran for president, you are right. i was chairman of the national party. a lot of people trying to keep them out and say he could not come to the debate and i said is on as i am chairman of this party, if al sharpton is running for president he will be at every event every other candidate will be. i did say, go get him -- them, l. one of my favorite moments was me and him visiting barbershops
when he was running for president. an experience i will never forget. the man is a true legend. he had me sent in the chair and give me a little haircut there. it was pretty good. but i wanted to be here with you today. you know, martin luther king said the question is what are you doing for others. this is what i think about every single day as governor. tremendous amount of power when you govern. it is how you use that power and what you do for people. i want to say, i broke a 44-year trend to become the governor of the commonwealth of virginia. you yourself a great round of applause. it was a long, hard right. whoever wins the white house, the other would see the ownership. i broke that trend because i leaned in on the issues. i thank you for being in the march the other day. it was called. it was running. you never gave up.
and i told you i would never give up. i believe everybody has a right to a second chance. second chances matter. everybody makes mistakes. we want to welcome people back into society. i grew up in a state new york. first businessmy when i was 14-years-old if i was going to be able to go to college. i was the youngest chairman under the age of 30. i have always loved politics give back. can since the day i took office when i stood on the steps of our for one let's stop second. pick about this. virginia's first governor, patrick henry, give me liberty or give me death. he started the american revolution. our second governor thomas jefferson and now terry mcauliffe. is is this not a great country we love it, folks?
i was born in new york. who knew? but whatever. the second i took that oath i started to work to help people. my first executive order, no discrimination. it will not be tolerated. i began to the box. no discriminatory practices in state hiring. toave an executive order remove the confederate flag from every license plate in the commonwealth of virginia. i was not going to tolerate discriminatory, hateful language and our state. that is not how you grow. through the efforts of my wife, lester 5 million more meaty -- lastot access -- 5 year five million more needy children got access to health
care. i just put $1 billion into education. the single largest investment ever. pre-k up to 12 great. a new initiative. classrooms not courtrooms. the classroom. help these people grow and learn. the best teachers in the areas that need them most. we have tried to lean and. the proudest moment of my life was that april 22 when i started the steps of that capital. i stood in the spot where in 19 02 a state senator put into our -- and aion disenfranchisement. he said in 1902, i am doing this -- the donkeys
i am doing -- th arkieso eliminate the d from being a force of change in the state. i got to reverse that. [applause] senator mcauliffe: it was the largest franchise mentor of rights. it was the right thing to do. i was sick and tired of people coming up to me. on election day a would go to the voting booth and hoping some me and saidme up to on election day they would go to the voting booth and try to pick
up one of the iphone voted stickers to take it home and tell children they voted. these speaker, the senate leader, sued me. took me to the supreme court. are one of two states where the supreme court is picked by a legislature. disclosure, i went to georgetown law school. had a scholarship and i ran three companies. i was not there much to be honest with you. you will never hire me to be your lawyer. but even i knew the government have the right to restore the rights under was not that complicated. they rolled i against me for-three. had done this one before. this was hard to do. it was hard, that is why people did not do it. they said, he has to do it individually. so i called a press conference
and said, i will sign all 200-6000 myself. line them up. let's go. well, guess what? they did not like that either. i got sued again. this time for contempt of court. the badge of honor being the first virginia governor to be sued by the supreme court. i told the attorney general i almost hope they would put me away for a couple days. like letters from birmingham, i can have letters from richmond. this time the supreme court said no. the governor is doing the right thing. theseceeded to restore rights. one final story. i got a call in my office from the daughter of nathaniel barnes . he was 79-years-old.
his daughter called and said, he is never been able to vote in his entire life. in 60 years. he really wanted to vote in last just presidential election. i went down to portsmouth and i did a ceremony. he was not feeling well so his daughter came. i signed his order, the daughter know,n home and said you governor, it was the first time i saw my father smile in seven years. unfortunately mr. bernstein five days before the election -- mr. days before the election but he died a full citizen of the commonwealth of virginia. i thank you for this award. this is why you get into politics. this is why you all help people get elected. when people get elected, you watch those elected officials take action. people want action and that is why you all work so hard.
the other dams trying to convince everybody. look at virginians. withyou treat people dignity, everything creeps up and people want jobs. that is what we are focused on. i thank you for this award. i am going to fly back to richmond right now because i have another big announcement. you all know who barbara johns is. 16-years-old. two schools. one for white children, one for black children. the one for black tilden was horrible. tarpaper. said i'm not girl going to stand for this. in the mid-1960's. in virginia. she led the revolt. they built a new school. because of her actions. the firstold girl led
fight. we have a new attorneys general office in virginia. a brand new state office building and i am naming that building, i am going to name that building from today going forward, it will be the barbara johns state building. thank you. [applause] >> another hand. i told senator booker in the back, taking ages. before hebarack obama
was elected president, he said, great things happen when you come through here. i am not predicting nothing. i am not calling for nothing. but you know, when i was growing , iwe used to sing in church am so glad trouble don't last always. will donaldther trump. awardeeing on our next i must and knowledge some of our young folks that have also nan and haves at shown the courage to stand and speak truth to power. of my little sister, sister angela.
[applause] reverend sharpton: you see her on cnn but she broke her teeth here. i am also proud of my sister simone. stand up, simone. crew cominghave a that will change things. someone said when we came to washington for the opening of that thisonian museum and houses history excellence. i said that you could shake this woman's hand and it is tantamount to shaking hands with our history of excellence in art
and culture and dignity. if there is black culture, black history, black art that is not limited to us but that comes from us and is shared and , it is thishe world actress, choreographer, and director. she does it all will stop cancer, everything. anything that is of excellence in the culture, she has mastered it. she has never shamed us and always challenges us and pushed the envelope without insulting grow withouts making us uncomfortable. winner.n award
first of all, a graduate of howard university. she will tell you that and make you understand that. she is serious about howard. she is award-winning director and choreographer. she has choreographed the academy awards. she directed and choreographed with michael jackson, mariah carey, james earl jones. whitney houston. sammy davis, on and on. about michael's farewell. anybody who can handle my college and his family and mariah and one lifetime and not have all gray hair -- you should get every award just for that. she has received a golden globe award for her role as lydia
allen. [applause] debbie: thank you reverend sharpton. thank you so much for inviting me to come here today. my sister felicia rochon said, you've got a go girl. that's going to be fun. this is certainly an honor for me and for my whole family and community because this is the first time that you have given the award for excellence in the arts and this says that the work that we do is relevant, important, and transformative. you are talking about not just me but the great writers. the actors.
long laundry list of incredible people that i have worked with and yes, sammy, michael, and lena. that i amve to know born out of houston, texas, at a time when jim crow was effective. i grew up where there were fountains.water you could not go to restaurants. you could not go to movie theaters. i cannot go to dance class. my mother moved to mexico, a place where we did not speak the language but they welcomed us. they are.at the l.a. -- i trained at the ballet there. i came back at 10-years-old, turning 11-years-old, civil rights was
tearing the country apart. dr. king actually came to our house and had dinner. we all marched. there was no one to young to stand up and speak. we learned this young. courage was not even a question. it was a fact of life that you had to have courage. i became the first black dancer at the houston ballet foundation. foundation that had rejected me when i was eight-years-old. i got it when i was finally 14-years-old. my mother tried to pretend i was mexican but they would not take me. but things happened in their own time. you have to believe that. i grew up with the sense of struggle. standing up, being courageous. doing things that may not always be comfortable or even safe. i went to howard university. ther i was rejected from
major performing arts schools. they rejected me. my on salud found out about it about ity on jelovac. she got on the board and said, never again. maya angelous found out about it, she got on the board and said "never again." d into a world where i knew i had to do something. not just being cute and shaking it, but what is it going to be about? , so many university great, great teachers who were mentorsrs and remain my .
whole professional career. i went on that journey i'm still on today and i know the arts are informative. i traveled the world. china, india, israel, palestine, paris.frica, london, in places where we do not speak the same language or pray to the same god. but we can dance to the same beat. .e can move there is something about cultural diplomacy that is more powerful than almost anything. you have to know that out of america, hip-hop culture is the greatest out of america. it is. i was afraid to go to the middle keptis this man osama calling my office. i said, i ain't going nowhere with somebody named osama. no. one day he called my office and caught me and said, you are
being racist. wow. he was right. i was judging him because of his name and where he was. they route. china -- -- beirut. child, i went. i was being courageous. we went there, i had an audition. they needed me to help them do a big reduction. i did not see the guys i wanted. about basketball. no. so, osama was like -- so, i went to a museum because this is where i learned the arts. this is where i lived. we could not go to the restaurants but they did not mind is going to the museums. so i went to the museums and this man with a rifle that had a
little red dot they would put on you i said, oh lord they are getting ready to take us. don't do it, honey, you ain't going to get no money. my assistant was dancing through the museum. he put his rifle down. i am not making this up. he put his rifle down and started clapping. i have a friend who dances just like you. i said, child, where are they. i went in a dark aisle. i even called colin powell. him and his wife. i said, send somebody. we followed his lead. we went into a room. a club. those boys were breakdancing in bouncing up the walls like nothing i had ever seen. they had learned it from the internet. they want to be like us. they want to be with us.
i went around the room will stop child, what is your name? had 15 of them meet me at the theater. i thought about it is the women do not talk like that over there. [laughter] ms. allen: i hired all those young men and they became my sons. one of them was from iraq. i found myself apologizing for what we have done to their country. the language of the arts is universal. stephen hawking's said how millions of years ago, we all ran around like animals until something miraculous happened, we learned how to speak and listen.
my purpose in life has been young people. i touched young people -- touched millions of young people with the art. i stood up with them. i did "a different world." that was art. we changed life with "fame." anatomy," and now we have millions of people who want to be in the medical profession. hard.orking i did a production here in washington called freeze-frame. i threw my hat in the ring,
because i cannot take the violence. i gave a face and a voice to young people in the inner-city. in the dance driven narrative, we addressed the challenges they are having with the police and gangs and jugs and education and love and religion, all in dance and music. i hope to take this production around the country, because we needed now more than ever. i thank you for this award. it is wind beneath my wings. like john francis told me, keep your hand on the plow, girl. deborah is my name. it means "little bee."
i am a worker. thank you, reverend sharpton. i will see you in the field. [applause] rev. sharpton: give another hand allen.len -- debbie dr. king was assassinated in memphis, tennessee because he of gone down at the request a local minister to aid in the strike of a union that .epresented garbage collectors labor has always been the 20
brothers and sisters of the civil rights movement. every year we give a labor award -- i don't know, it is going to be hard to find someone who can be second to her. i want to bring up the president of the american federation of who, i callorkers reverend, because he can preach. he preached saturday and till we forgot it was cold. he is going to help present the labor award, and of course our board member is going to help to help continue the program. some are slipping out because we have a 1:00 in harlem. this is not a luncheon, this is breakfast.
we are not going to be here that long. some of the all debts some of you are starting to look at the -- some of you are looking at the lunch menu. you are not going to be there that long. get them in and get them out. presents thes he labor award on our behalf and some words from him. .y brother and friend [applause] >> thank you so much. good morning, brothers and sisters. when i growou what, up, i want to be just like reverend al. i promise you that. al.ink so much of reverend also the civil rights movement. let's call it a movement, not a campaign. the labor movement, not a
campaign. we have been joined together all these years and we are so proud to continue to be joined together. our honorary this morning, a wonderful person, i remember as i first became a local president back in 1988. my hair was black and i was smaller. i can promise you. my wife can tell you i was really good-looking. [laughter] whot this call from a lady said, i am dorothy james and i am running to be the national vice president for women in fair practices. then we just called the director . i am asking for your vote. we talked a little bit and i thought, i am a brand-new president, a little guy down enough carolina.
that is when i first met dorothy james. little did i know that dorothy james have been an activist and been out there fighting for civil rights, labor rights, human rights, women's rights, many, many years. she continues that fight as the national vice president probably representing michigan, wisconsin and illinois. we are going to have some change in wisconsin and michigan and illinois. i promise you, dorothy is good to see that it is happening. a true labor leader and a true friend. a person that is helped mentor me and been a supporter of mine and also of the labor movement and the civil rights movement. it is with great pleasure to bring sent -- pleasure to
present dorothy james. [cheering and applause] ms. james: i would like to think all of you -- thank all of you for taking your time out to be here today. i would like to thank the national action network and a reverend sharpton for this award and especially my union, the ma confederation of government employees. [applause] staffmes: as well as my
that is here today from chicago, from my district office in chicago. they are sitting here. as well as national vice s other than myself. as my lifelong partner who is in attendance. he keeps me grounded and all of my affiliates that are supporting me. i am very thrilled to receive this very awesome award on this very important day. i am very glad to smell the roses, instead of having this done posthumously. having listened to the speakers that have gone before me, i would say what our grandparents said or what they say is that i
am picking in high cotton today. i definitely appreciate it. a little bit about my background , i was called a national vice president of visiting the states of michigan, illinois and wisconsin. i have been a dues paying member for 43 years. [applause] .s. james: thank you i'm glad to receive the labor award. i'm glad to know that this included in the program of man, areuse labor -- laborers important to our community. they are the backbone of our economic strength in our community and in our neighborhoods. people that belong to unions, it is shown that they do receive benefits and wages from 20% to 30% more than people who are not in unions. that is essentially the reasons why this administration and
other conservative, ultra-right administrations do want to see unions a laminated -- unions eliminated. they are working pretty for seven -- they are working 24/7 to make sure they are eliminated. whenwhen you work for the federl government, all your benefits are derived from congress. congress is our boss. our wages and health and if it's come from congress. because there is always a cry to cut the budget, federal employees will be the first to feel the lashing. as we speak, these people that areworking 20 47 -- 24/7
making an effort to see that we feel it really bad. they are coming up with polls -- to represent employees. also eliminate our ability to collect dues from employees to pay for operating the union. this is very detrimental to us. great the afg, we have a legislative department. we have to lobby congress. we just don't lobby for federal benefits, we lobby for all of the agencies that help the community, such as the veterans that theepartment administration wants to dismantle, including the environmental protection agency that they want to dismantle. there's these plans to eliminate
dues and deductions. contract the agencies, epa. there is this budget cutting action that goes on and the mantra from our representatives is they will balance the budget on the backs of the federal employees. .e have to be forever vigilant we have to be out there on the front lines protecting your interests and hours, and mobilizing our members to do so. we are concerned and we are fearful of what is going on with the trump takes. -- trump picks. in looking at his people that he is picking like stephen bannon known for his racist publication. that is very alarming to us.
then there is rex tillerson best known for his close relationship and his friendship with putin and the russian government. his involvement with exxon mobil and his billion-dollar oil fields with russia. that is the secretary of state. [laughter] andrewes: then we have poster, secretary of labor. he is the ceo of fast food restaurants that it jack's -- that objects entirely to minimum wage increases. he cares less for the least of us. ,hen we go on to betsy devos secretary of education. fortunewn for her amway and her republican fundraising. and her strong support for charter schools and her anti-public education position.
she holds strong animosity against the teachers unions and is anxious to eliminate them and anxious to eliminate public education. it doesn't really and their peer theo to scott pruitt, former paternal generally of oklahoma -- the former that she would be the secretary of the environmental protection agency. this is the agency that oversees our climate control and makes recommendations to sue companies for polluting. the pick of trump has sued eap three times and it is his desire to dismantle the agency entirely. has 19,000 do paying debts
dues paying members. not only is a climate change denier, he wants to eliminate that agency as well as the jobs. then we have ben carson, secretary of hud. the only african-american seeking the cabinet and he opposes welfare. he did not oppose food stamps when he and his mother received food stamps. the bootstraps theory. you must pull yourself up by your own straps. originally he declined the appointment as secretary of hud, and according to armstrong williams, his representative, he did so because he lacked experience in running a major agency. but now he is in charge of running that major agency.
then of course we have senator -- y's best friend [laughter] ms. james: jeffrey sessions as attorney general. i'm surprised that all of his remarks were not focused on jeffrey sessions. he is best known for using the n-word for one thing and calling black men "boys." he is known on that she is known for that vicious attack on civil rights workers were he tried to get them jailed. cory booker fought. that is why he broke precedent and spoke out against this appointment. [applause] thank you, sir. we appreciate that. the fact is these appointments
are pretty much on lockdown. we expect that they are going to be approved. so it is going to be a rainy day for all of us. the trump administration and trump reminded me of something that i heard on tv recently on this series called "black sales." i don't know if any of you have turned into that. i heard a commercial about it it with the commercial said is that the time calls for dark men to do dark things. do not be afraid to lead them to it. president-elect donald trump to me is the designated person to lead them to it. no one person or group can fight this onslaught. we have to anticipate that we are going to fight it together.
that is not going to be easy, because we have got a lot of ,rganizations out there concerned citizens, religious groups, and we don't all come together on the same points are the same note. we have ideological differences, egos, personality conflicts and a lot of internal bickering. you see it in the church, the boy scouts in every place else. , when you sells sales come to a situation like this, when you're all being rained on and you are in the same leaky boat, you are going to have to figure out how to start rolling together. -- rowing together. if we cannot minimize these differences that we have in a leaky boat, we are all going to be sinking. [applause]
ms. james: this administration everything we have thought for this on the line, our freedom, justice, dignity and our inequality. we know in our core that hope is greater than despair. that confidence is greater than fear. that love conquers hate. we have fought injustice in this plentiful land and the road has not been easy. unthinkableeved results, drawing upon the strengths of our forefathers and each other. we have been forged to be equal to the challenge. our standing together, working together and fighting together is the only way we will maintain
and achieve the justice and equality we so richly deserve. again, i thank you for this awesome award. [applause] ms. james: god bless america. [applause] >> you see why i supported this lady years ago? keep supporting her. sen. booker: give a hand -- rev. sharpton: give a hand, ms. james. let me recognize our board member is with us. give him a hand. dr. leslie baskerville, we have been activists together for many years. i want to also encourage you to get a copy of the recently
released autobiography of credit .cott king that is in the lobby barbara reynolds wrote with mrs. king. today. out bernice was on good morning theica talking about barbara reynolds book. i want to bring now -- there is reverend barbara reynolds. [applause] rev. sharpton: she did the book with mrs. king. i want to bring now one of the onmest spots of a cold march saturday. you all can tell i am still cold because i keep talking about it. we are going to spend a lot of days out here marching. one of the warmest spots has shero that has stood
up for the city. she has made us proud. we want to bring the last two awards on. sister -- to hear our and then byron jones who talked about university of phoenix and then dr. marcus brad will send us home. i will to hear from the chief executive of this district, the mayor of a washington, dc, muriel bowser. [applause] mayor bowser: thank you so much, you are so kind. i want to give my appreciation to reverend al sharpton for all that he does for all of us who
uses his platform. he makes sure that all of us who need to that encouragement, that push, a little extra attention are getting it in cities all across our nation. let me think that national action network for all you do is washington for gathering hundreds of people on the mall just yesterday. to send a clear message that no matter what happens on november 8, right? we did not change. the government may change, but did not change. we are who we are november night and today on martin luther king j -- king day, regardless of who lives on pennsylvania avenue. i did not realize that i would talk everywhere about what those
values are. we are different in washington, dc, you may know. we are a city, a county and a state all-in-one. government. billion we balance our budget, we take care of ourselves. but some people think we belong to the federal government. last week, i got featured on bill o'reilly. i'm very out of it. he called me the outrage of the week. i was the outrage of the week, senator. said, i am going to run my city according to d.c. values. our values say we are inclusive and we protect every d.c. resident. we will fight against any unconstitutional enforcement against d.c. residents. i said we are going to protect , the women and girls whose health care are
being threatened. their health care is being threatened. their aspirations are being crushed because they feel like their hard work will not pay off in the greatest nation in the world. i said we would stand up to our lgbtq brothers and sisters. set the stage here in d.c., because we are going to have a $15 minimum wage. [applause] mayor bowser: by 2020. we need you to stand up for us. you heard the vice president of a fte talking. if there was a movement to say that our federal workers are not doing their jobs, that somehow our country can work without those people. we have a congressman say he wants to send everybody out of washington. i cannot take -- divest from d.c.
out and to send people the federal government will not hire, they will not give up raises and they will not treat people fairly. we have to stand up because those are not our values. i want to be here with the national action network, because the federal government will not do, we in cities must do. that is what we have to do. as mayor, and the mayors are going to help. senator booker is a mayor at heart. he knows that even when congress tries to block our president, cities took on the charge. when all of these agency directors are coming in with their own views, wheaton cities, we take care of ourselves. we raise our money. they cannot work against us if we stand together. we know where the population is and we have to stand up for our people. i want to thank national action network. congratulate the awardees and
keep moving. thank you. [applause] rev. sharpton: -- sen. booker: let's give the mayor another hand. [applause] sen. booker: good morning, everybody. i need you to do me a favor. i need you to give god praise for the spirit of dr. king that lives on. [applause] sen. booker: let's do that. we are going to move the program along. i assure you that this will not take long. the senator might tell you that i'm long-winded on sunday morning. i will not be long-winded today. i have a distinct honor and privilege to have listened to person to today and to some kind of way, i am connected to the mall. desk to them all. -- to them all.
i spent 25 years with at&t. debbie allen, my kids went down , differentto school world had a whole impact on those folks at when the senator was talking, i really felt the sense of his father's spirit, because my mother that turned 101 in the month of december told me that my dad had purchased 20 acres of land during the great depression. as the senator spoke, i sensed how critical it was that my father spirit continue to live on through me. i have the honor of really bringing the person up for the economic justice award. that is janice bryant howard. i want her to come forward. she is a businesswoman. let's give it up.
on spring door, educator, all tour, president of special appointees. janice has invested in creating the industry's most advanced technology, talent platform serving the ever-changing utility energy and broadband communications space. her vision as a leader is fostering connectivity between those sectors, giving them competitive advantage in cyclical markets. janice has traveled in more than 50 countries. [applause] part the harvard -- university of southern california, california state university san bernardino and her own i'm a modern, -- and her own, motter, no caps on at&t.
-- i don't know of anyone who deserves this award other than janice bryant howard. let's -- i want to -- [applause] >> come on in here and do your homework. you know what you have got to do. all right, you better go to bed now. got to get up in the morning and go to school. children, be quiet. your mama is trying to study. when homework got too hard at my house, my mother tried to understand how to help us.
some of you have heard the jokes that comedians did about parents helping children with homework. homework was a joke in our home. 10,did a sibling of daughter of a mother and father who loved each other so passionately that they taught us -- it lookedk like like, praise god about , attending a segregated school in north carolina, our segregation was so polite,o harsh, yet so dignified. motherny wonder that my did not just raise one daughter worthy of standing on the stage, but 11 children? reverend al sharpton, national action network, all of you in
this room who committed yourself is quiterk of justice a poignant moment for me to stand here and be in on a re-. -- and be an honorary. reward.d is not the this honor for janice is not aboutcommemoration, it is invigoration. don't be commemorated for what you have done, be invigorated to continue to do. folks, where i grew up in north carolina, we used to go to church on sunday in the summer every day. wiest to sing a song like this. i don't know if any of you know the song because some of you look like city folks.
[laughter] >> back of the country wiest to sing a song like this. ♪ we have come this far by faith lordng on the trusting in his holy word -- then the women in the back say -- ♪ my god has never failed me yet. , o, ody say o can't turn around ♪ cannot turn around because we are soldiers in a war. i built a company worth $3 billion understanding the art of war.
not the war you hear about. i built a company built on data, information and understanding that jobs that returned to this country will not return in the form in which they left. i built a company that does business in 24 countries. with brick and mortar in 19 of them. -- that modernny economics offer. i built a company on faith and i know a little bit about faith. this nappy headed girl from north carolina knows a thing or two about faith. he talked about being in high cotton, i worked in cotton. i worked in tobacco at all the while, my mama was holding firm that we got an education the day i designed workforce technology.
we placed people in jobs across this nation, sending out millions of w-2s a year. it.h did there are a couple of things i know about faith. did your ink pens just get your ink pens out in your paper, or if your like me, get your cell phone out. i want to tell you two things about faith. first, your talked about earlier. works is dead. you can say it, but can you live it?
if you feel good about voting, and that is your sole politic helpto the of this nation, go back and study that a little bit longer. i got up on a plane yesterday from vegas to come out here. i have faith that i would arrive, but work went into ensuring it. i have a brother over at washington health center accompanied by brother right here who has been nursing him on behalf of the family who had a double heart surgery. he had faith that he would make it through that surgery. but work will ensure that he lives to enjoy the results. the precious, the deep, the
strategic things for soldiers in this war for justice to that many battles are fought before a war is one won.r is faith is constant, write it down. battle, war is not for the faint of heart. sing -- ♪ we are soldiers in the army we have to fight although will have to die ♪ we are soldiers engaged. vote but notis to
to support those who would make sure your vote counts, then you don't understand the dynamics and the principles of the faithful anymore. work through you in order for it to work for you. what did i say? my faith must work through me an order it to work for me. say it with me. my faith must work through me in order for it to work for be. -- for me. justice is considered a matter folkgal things, where some elected or appointed make decisions about what is right and wrong. whether you believe in creation or not, you know this much is true, you are guided by intuition and you are offered
opportunity for forgiveness by conscience. keep those things working together as you would your heart and your head. how tremendous is it to stand in this nation's capital, born over 65 years ago when a segregated community where the brown versus the board of education was fought based on data from my community. and tell you today that we are guiding companies and how to workforces, sustain that do everything from medical, to legal to financial, to scientific. did that occur you go it occurred because so many other people were faithful warriors in the fight? so in some of their presence and in all of their memories, i
stand before you today thanking you, accepting this award with a commitment that it doesn't commemorate, it invigorates. god bless you all. wherever you are going home, go safely. [applause] a anotherive her hand. you can do better than that. [applause] >> thank you so much for taking the time to come out with us. we have one or two more awards. this one is our community activism award. this one is very personal and important. start talking about this next generation of leaders that is coming up, we are here talking about dr. king and one
of the things that is talked about a lot is this next generation. the joshua generation. it is the generation that came along after moses. how joshua used to go along, everybody knows, and moses would say, pharaoh, let my people go, joshua would run down, let my people go because moses would send him. when moses died, people wondered was joshua going to talk as bad as he talked? bad.s started getting we have problems now that we look at and people wonder, are we going to still have that swagger that we had, now that malcolm is gone and martin luther king is gone and ralph abernathy in some of these guys are gone. when we look around the landscape, i don't think we have much of a problem when we see angela arrived, simone sanders. i don't think we have a problem. we have a whole crew of joshua's
and they are waiting to come along, because the key was -- god said it wasn't moses who gave joshua the strength to talk to pharaoh. it was me working through moses. wasll be with you just as i with moses. run down there and talk to pharaoh and tell pharaoh let my people go. leave my people alone. when you talk about somebody having the ability to make sure that we are going to be all right, i think we have a cadre of new joshua people. this new joshua generation is coming along. when debbie allen was talking about film producers, we have a film that was done that you need to hear about. it was called "loving."
we have those people here who are going to tell you about it. one of the producers is going to come up and talk about it that and introduces the community activism award. they are going to tell you about her and what she has done. producer andociate sarah green is the producer. we got a chance to look at it at the naacp meeting and i can tell you, it is an amazing movie if you haven't seen it. it is the story about the ing'snia case of the lov where they went and got married. this is the generation i am talking about, the joshua
generation. look at these young people that are here doing the job that we have a chance to say our future is safe. kathy hughes, this is why we can rest and know that we can turn it over to some other people knowing that because of people like this, our future is a little bit more secure. thank you, ladies. [applause] >> all right. thank you, national action network for fighting for equality and social justice for the past 25 years. today, we are here on behalf of our film, loving, which is based off loving versus virginia. our film is a film about courage . it is a film about hope, love and also a film about overcoming significant systematic obstacles
that were faced during the civil rights movement. it is a story about an interracial couple. they were a couple that were married in virginia when it was banned from the state of virginia for 25 years for what they considered to be a felon. equalityeir fight for and love that took their story on the way to the supreme court. as a result of that fight, the supreme court struck down the ban on interracial marriage making interracial marriage legal in all 50 states. fight, we want to offer an award. >> almost 50 years since that ruling. it is just as if not more important to fight for progress for all people. justice and change our hard-fought and hard-won and in
we words of mildred loving, may lose the small battles, but when the big war -- but win the big war. in 2017, we face fear mongering and racism. at a time when our country risks taking huge steps backwards, it is imperative to draw strength from people with hate the way from our freedom -- people who have paved the way for our freedom. >> our honoree used her experience to help better lives of others. today, we are here to present the mildred loving immunity activism award to our honoree. [applause]
>> she is an intelligent, young and amazingly beautiful young platform has used her to affect change, not only in our community but in society as well. growing up, her father was in and out of risen and her mother passed away when she was a freshman in high school. toermined to survive and go higher education, she graduated high school and she applied and received scholarships to pursue higher education in college. during this process that sparked the conversation with her grandmother that started in birth the idea of what we know chips," founded in 2010 as a way to not only nurture and mentor at support and help fund other high school graduates whose parents are also
incarcerated. [applause] >> from the cast and crew of loving and the loving family, we are grateful to you for encouraging people to pursue their dreams and continued to believe in the promises of the american dream. on behalf of everyone you have touched, we are honored to present you the mildred loving community activism award. [applause] >> ♪ we believe in freedom cannot last we who believe in freedom cannot rest
until it comes we who believe in freedom cannot rest we who believe in freedom comes ♪est until it [applause] >> our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our life, not our darkness, that most frightens us. , senator coryes booker, who am i to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
fabulous? who are you not to be? you are a child of god. your playing small does not serve the world. that isnothing in life about shrinking so that other people will not feel secure just feel insecure around you. we are born to make manifest the .lory of god that is within us it is not just in some of us, it is in all of us. as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically others.s
ladies and gents, i will be quick. i have a friend, african-american male, born and raised in washington, dc, southeast. educated, has a college degree, working in a political office. he has made something of himself. he and i were having a conversation last evening and in that conversation, he said to me, i know that i am a black man and i am a nobody. i mean nothing in this country. i jumped immediately and said, that is not true. that is not true. said, i know and
what i am talking about. please, do not try to convince me. it felt like a needle popped a balloon of my heart. this broke my heart. , the deep dark place that this sincere statement came from. contrary to some supremacists beliefs, we are humans. we have thoughts, we have feelings, we have loved ones, we want to be seen. we want to be respected. we want to be praised, as dr. martin luther king called a drum major instinct. this country, our fellow man continued to harass down, kill us,shoot us, to dehumanize
strip us, searches, lock us up, kill our hopes and dreams and as a result, there are millions of children like me who are living without parents. we need you and we are living without them. ways, we are still being lynched. frederick douglas wrote in a letter to his former slave master, "i am your fellow man, ."t i am not your slave we are servants, yes, but we ain't nobodies slaves. the greatest among you shall be your servant. that was grandma -- go ahead. as is what -- that is what some school and by the school
teaches. that is why i admire you, reverend al sharpton, senator cory booker, ms. cathy hughes, ms. debbie allen, you found your gift, your passion and you used yourselves and to empower your communities. to teach a viable lessons and politics, television, dance, radio. if we old adage goes, don't stand for something, we will fall for anything. thank you to each and every one of you in this room for standing up and speaking up and speaking out. while many are still saying, justice,you are saying justice, justice.
dr. martin luther king said in his sermon entitled john major 1968,ct on february 4, two months before his assassination, he said at ebenezer baptist church in atlanta, georgia. when i die, say i was a drum major for justice. say i was a drum major for peace . it say i was a drum major for righteousness. ladies and gents, we need you to grab the hands of young children and teenagers, teach them our history. brutality,forget the the injustices, the terrors of slavery and of segregation, of jim crow, so that we will not turn back and allow the walls to devour us. we must engage our youth, as
reverend al sharpton is doing. he is engaging our youth in the national action network. teach them to educate themselves always. to be cognizant, to be alert, devote -- two vote. let us not it comfortable. our black family is gone now. the work is not done. the true measure of our character is how we treat our children, our elderly, our disabled, our poor and our incarcerated. the march in this country to justice continues, senator cory booker says. john lewis says we have come a distance, we have come a long way. we made progress but we are not there yet. there are forces that want to
take us back to another place. we don't want to go back. we want to go forward. let us continue to move and go forward together. i pray that we have the courage and the strength to fight for love and justice, like ms. mildred loving. god bless. [applause] >> i told you that next generation is tough. if i didn't miss my guess, i startn'tt was a
me. no fight up in here. at this time, we are going to -- a few people in here so we will be out of here. we will be out of here in good time. i would like to bring up -- you heard some of what cathy hughes was talking about, this amazing partnership we had with the university of phoenix. we want to hear from one of the architects, mr. byron jones. he is here to give us a couple .f minutes on the program if you would come forward quickly and give a little more detail as to the program, and how it works. we would appreciate
>> 1965, bloody sunday. 50 mile march from the somewhat to montgomery. try to explain these historical moments to our children. my kids and say wow, they walked 50 miles? that's a long way. when you see the significance of what happened during the march, we held hands with whites also in the march. daymarch will start on mlk from the monument, five miles. another march we started baltimore, maryland. 200 yards. --started at the church
around the corner to booker t. washington middle school. i wanted to give you all the details about the program. what we are talking about is a relationship we have built between the university of phoenix and to be the importance of concentrating on education, especially in our children k-12. i was looking at the statistics on the website of the department of education and the young black behindn are 30-40 points whites. we bring the average down at this point. there been fruits of labor that a lot of us have been able to prosper from the education we have had. there are a lot of children being left behind. aildren or not, performing at
level to be competitive in the marketplace. i would tell my boys, when i get back, you are not competing against the man next to you in class. we are in a global economy. the importance of increasing the proficiency of our students as they move through third, fourth, fifth grade and get into high school. high school they will not have opportunities unless they can perform at a certain level. say noo apropos to justice no peace. i say no education, no justice. [applause] one of the things always said is that education is a civil rights issue. my aunt, her most important case that she wanted, was circled on education. people say, why are you so interested in it, # -- it?
i say because i am black. i make no bones about that. we have done relationships before. relationship helping them bring students online to recover them to bring back students to south carolina state. bringing the development research school back online this january was the significance. florida has a robust online high school system. they were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for students to go into the online system. onliney do they give education to students at their school but now they can offer it to a student in the state of florida. now they can offer ap classes because they don't have courts -- we have relationships around the education that are really important.
we traveled with reverend sharpton in june. get a four city tour. , columbia,orgia south carolina, baltimore, maryland. toaid, this is what you have do to win office i don't know how you do it. verytory that is resonating with me is the hardest job of being a pastor, people have heard this, is giving the eulogy of the irrelevant negro. the cert ifing on there is nothing you contribute to society you want me to give you accolades about the great things you have done. listen, i can just perform the job that i have right now and be that way. one of the things that resonated with me with the governor from
virginia who said i entered politics from a community standpoint to give back. .'m not entering politics i will stay in the corporate world's liking get back my community relationships. i've talked to enough superintendents and presidents of hbcus knowing that when our children leave high school a lot of them are having to take remedial classes. part of what the university is going to do is providing the skill set for teachers to be more efficient in the classroom. a lot of shortages across this nation. 6-8 weeks to get them to teach in the classroom. now you have to have a classical trained degree from a school of education.
let me pull this. i've talked to college presidents. i've talked to enough superintendents to know that you know that when you bring it all together, it is almost a lifetime for each vcu. this isart of hearts one of the things i'm trying to want tothrough what we do as far as donating to the i have aal system great relationship with ms. hughes and alfred and that relationship started off initially as a commercial relationship you 25% extensive you justy of phoenix
can't take from a community and not get back. they came back with unbelievable -- the last year. we will start by raising the social consciousness of what happened in our education system. we did a documentary that we aired nationally in march. they coined this phrase, sitting tomorrow today.com. avingtomorrowtoday.com they are going to relaunch it at the end of the wars on the red carpet and talk about it again. those are ideas that were birthed. the good creativity of their team. the whole purpose of the initiative is not to say that we had four schools this year and next year 20, the purpose of
what we are trying to do is build the fact that you can't be successful at this school and let them copy it. there are two pieces. the part around teacher development and the part around the community. anything pops off at school if the home before i got home. was no what happened at school today, it happened before i got home. , -- jessicay wife johnson is the printable of booker t. washington. with her, we have a program around reinvigorating the involvement of the community. the question becomes who holds the upper hand? community or school? the schools a byproduct of the community.
back in the day we had many black educators in the classroom. we have to find a way to return to that. pay is the lowest paying professional degree in the united states. there are two pieces we talked about, one run professional development of teachers and the .ther an has very active pastors across this nation. they are the ones that can work with us holding up the social although you may not have a child in that school you can be involved because it .s part of your community
we are not going to turn down help in this particular issue for me from a personal standpoint, i think education is the key. interview says what do you expect to see, i hope i see it in my lifetime. i have a birthday coming up. in a couple days i will be 40 something. you do not believe that, did you? the number one thing is can we it is not about teaching success. it's about being proficient and .oing to the next level number two will our children see the importance of community in their school? did you know people care about them and love them?
will the same children return to those community and rebuild? there's a part in that resonates for our we used to run community. get it and go. the question is can they return to the community? this is how we integrate the importance of our communities. once money comes in, our people and of leaving because they have nowhere to go. thank you. [applause] >> i am appear now so it is going to go quicker. rightly.s every i the chief of national action network. ebony riley. dr. marcus wright is going to give brief remarks and we moved to close. thank you, bear with me.
wright: dr. king talked about frustration. we have felt it. we have all felt it. historically locked out of a lot of opportunities to build generational wealth. locked out from opportunities to have gainful employment. folks who got every qualification, applied everywhere, still can't get a job. businesses who check every box, met every standard, still can't get access to capital. can't get access to contracts. children locked out of equitable educational resources. toks seems a clear trying get us out of the voting box. voting suppression. out of the doctor's office through the repeal of the affordable care act.
before we have to continue to demand some keys to the locks. i am talking about specific keys to specific blocks black folks. period. this is not a time, not a season, 2017, to be scared. if you are scared to get a dog. this is a season of fearlessness. we cannot just analyze. analysis is very important but at this point we must engage. we have to engage at this capital to restore the voting rights act, engage in state capitals. i'm a resident of miami, florida. the governor in virginia can restore voting rights for people who have already paid their debts to society, and governor rick scott can restore voting rights for 1.5 million people. citizens who have paid their vets -- debts to society.
we have to make sure any national stop and first policy that the truck administration wants to implement will not be omitted on the ground. we have to stand our ground. we have to be engaged in congress to make sure the secretary of not allowed to be a reverse robin hood who is going to steal from public education to give to private interests. this is the time now to be courageous. we have to stand up and rise up to challenges. ultimately if there is no challenge there can be no change. this is a time that we have to bring all of our collective gifts to the table. whatever you have bring it to the table. ultimately hatred will not win. if we won't win. xenophobia won't win. we are going to stay in the race
until the end. we don't feel no way tired. we have come too far from where we have started from and we ain't going back. if your lotg said, suit -- a street sweeper, sweet streets so good that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say their lives a great street sweeper. if you can't be a pine on a hill, the english if you can't be a tree. if you can't be a highway be a trail. you can't be the sun be a star. it isn't by size that you win or fail. be the best of whatever you are. thank you very much. >> we would be remiss to have an
event like this and not technology our sponsors. i wanted to make sure that you get all of our sponsors in and we will get out of here. we don't want to respect that disrespect our concerts -- sponsors. i want you to practice something. we will not respect one sponsor more than another. when i called their name, we give them one class. clap. walmart. perennials. at&t. ag any. charter focus. eli lilly. the iu. macy's. master association. black women. [clap] uber [clap] texico [clap] university of phoenix [clap] we are done. thank you for coming out.
>> i want to thank everyone for coming out today. as a coalition in this room i urge us to use an opportunity to strategize and mobilize for what is in front of us. thank you everyone for joining us this morning, now the day. your martinst of luther king day. > vice president-elect mike pence stopped by the memorial in washington dc. he was joined by his family and south carolina senator tim scott. the vice president-elect also posted a comment on twitter saying, america today honors the life and enduring legacy of dr.
martin luther king jr. whose -- , vision made as a better nation. the meetingke about and was asked to comment on statements made by the resident elect about john lewis. mr. trump: let me briefly state we did have a constructive meeting. the modernl light of civil rights movement was the right to vote. it is very clear that the system is not working at its maximum.