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tv   National Action Network Hosts Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast  CSPAN  January 17, 2017 4:13am-7:01am EST

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they do not think much of ordinary americans. benjamin ginsberg talks about his book, "what washington officials get wrong," his new book. court's the laws, but that ain't exactly how the system works. "theof what we think of as law" consists of rules and regulations written by bureaucratic agencies. i bureaucrats that are not elected by anyone into often serve for decades. 8:00ncer: sunday night at p.m. eastern on c-span's "two and a." >> the annual breakfast in washington d c. speakers included reverend
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sharpton and governor terry mcauliffe. three hours.under [applause] >> now let's take this from the top. happy king day. happy king day. there we go. now then, reverend sharpton, distinguished guests and all of the honored friends with us. nate miles. it is a privilege to be here. one of my favorite quotes is life's most persistent and pressing question is what are you doing for others? remember,her king, was asking this many times of
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people who have very little, if anything. dr. chavez, 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. first member of my family to go off to school. the only reason i was able to go to school is one of the white women my mom kept house for. it was because 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
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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 -- as dr. what are youis 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.
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sister tonya had a pound cake. she did not think i would realize that she only gave me half a pound cake if i put it together. but 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. we -- i had to take what she gave me and go with that. but i went off to college and everything worked out fine. and so today, as you get ready to go out, make sure you understand that if dr. king was here, he would want you to know that today is not a day off. it's a day on. so today go out and do something to make this world a better
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place. i want to make sure we get today off to a good start. blessing.t with a pastor marquez ball will get us off and running. pastor ball? pray. ball: let us has brought us through many dangers, toils, and snares. we call upon you. we call upon you, lord god, because through the years, you have been sustaining oppressed people. mana from heaven said that people could simply
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make it through. elijah was tired and worn. you blessed him with it. not only that, you blessed scrappleo make breakfast with the leftovers from the master's estate. 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.
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in jesus' name, amen. amen. nate: 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. him himhim him him him movement, they call him.
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he speaks truth to power. 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. let bring out the man who together.l of this ladies and gentlemen, the man of the hour. the reverend al sharpton. [applause]
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reverend sharpton: thank you. thank you. let me first wish everyone a happy king day. and, let us not forget that even much fight ande this an to get to make national holiday. for those of us who have been involved in the struggle for civil rights, we take this day more seriously than those that just take a three-day weekend. theuse dr. king represents struggle for human rights and civil rights. and even this holiday is a result of a civil rights effort mrs. his wife, his widow
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coretta scott king. if you look at everyone, they celebrated that last year. her last five healthy years she would come every year. today, her son is among those in with the president-elect. with 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. we showed it anyway. but i thought about how ronald reagan once called martin luther king a communist. and ronald reagan ended up having to sign to make today a federal holiday.
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[applause] reverend sharpton: 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] >> amen! reverend sharpton: he ought to deal with the issues of today. he ought to, on king day, be kinglike. don't act like on the national chess, don't behave like a pond pawn if you've been made a
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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. to really deal with the issues that we marched about. not photo opportunities. voting rights, health care, reform, policee reform, as well as jobs. in serious times. nseriouso not need u discussion. we need serious discussion about serious achievement that need to be done in this society. that is why we carefully look at who we select. we honor people his new york chapter of operation, that we
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honor on king day. on a holiday that we have to fight. and let me preface this by acknowledging dr. venture avis who comes out of that movement. and melanie campbell. where is melanie? [applause] sharpton: and a member of our national board. and who alsostor pastors one of our senior members, corey booker.
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and reverend david jefferson. violation to pay tithes. just so we're clear. board member tonya lombard. 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
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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, as president obama said. and move the nation forward. and this person has personified , that as long as i have known him. hegot in the streets and
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became involved on the ground. and was elected the mayor of new newark, 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 in the time of convenience, but where they stand at the time of controversy. when every decision you make is easy, it means you are just an easy person. real leaders make hard decisions
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and faith hard consequences. when cory booker decided to break what was understood as senate courtesy and took a seat to testify against a fellow senator for the office of attorney general in and made it clear, i have nothing personal against him, we work together and agree on some things that i am too principled to not stand and say the definition of what office he is being nominated for does not fit some of the positions he has taken. that was the spirit of a dr. saying, lyndon johnson is my friend but the war in vietnam is wrong. in the spirit of dr. king we give our first award this
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morning from the national action network to the senator from new jersey. senator cory booker. [applause] reverend sharpton: 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] sen. booker: the reverend and i have known each other for a very long time.
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politics in the black community, politics in the black community, you can be with someone one day, against them the other day, but you always know you are brothers in the cause. i think most of my elections, and has been with me. some of them he has not. is, 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. and what i love about the national action network and a lot of people in this room is that we are in action. now more than ever, people have to remember what king talked about. he said, change will not be
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rolled in on the wheels of inevitability. it must be brought in by the people who will work for it and struggle for it. it is not the vitriolic words and actions of bad people, but we know that they without works is dead. we know the words of frederick douglass. who said, i had freedom before i was saved. it wasn't until i prayed with my hands and my feet that i found the freedom. it is simply hoping something would happen. they put forward a monumental effort. i'm here today because people who saw the incredible challenge that did not affect them personally. that is the thing we have to understand.
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the worst kind of privilege is the privilege that says, there are serious problems out there but they do not affect me or my family so therefore they are not my problems. they don't demand my engagement. look, i know that i owe a lot to my community. the last 20 years, i have lived in newark, new jersey's central ward. i have lived on martin luther king boulevard or 100 yards from it. now, i used to always say that 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. now king boulevard, i have to tell you, it is an incredible street. my church is right on the street past it. it has great colleges and universities.
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but the street on the south end, in the 1990's as they said, was "off the hook." there was violence and drug dealing and challenges. in the project that i eventually lived in for eight years, they stood me up and said, what do you see around you? i said, i see the problems with the street and she said, you can never help me. i remember running after this elderly woman and grabbing her from behind -- very respectfully, mind you. i said, what do you mean? said, the world you see in front of you is a reflection of what you have inside of you. if you only see problems, that's all it will ever be. but if every time you open your eyes, you see hope, you see the face of god, and you can be one of those people that helped me. i was still a lawsuit. working with great leaders like virginia jones.
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nothing i have done in my life has satisfied me more than being in the grass roots working, taking on some really bad actors in the community on martin luther king boulevard. when i moved into those buildings, the lessons i learned more often came from my brokenness then my successes. it came from my failures. and not the times i felt like i was riding high. that is actually what i want to share with you today is that understanding that we come from a broken reality. understanding that though we sit here today and comfort, there is somebody 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% of them are gay or lesbian
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teens because they are still facing outrageous hatred and bigotry even know we declare ourselves -- we have gate marriage but we still have violence against gays and lesbians. we live in this broken community where instead of dealing with mental health and parity, instead we stigmatize mentally ill people, stick them in prisons where they live in inhumane conditions. we live in a broken community because we still live an environmentalere still in the communities kids live in. i was living in these buildings, chasing after the big goal and the big dream.
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the lesson i got is that activism doesn't just happen during presidential campaigns and marches on washington. activism has to be an everyday choice you make. if you live in a brick tower, i would come home at night. i tell you, one of them was my dad. these kids in the lobby. my dad incarnate. raised by his grandmother for a time and born poor. my father said, boy, don't tell them i was poor. i was po. "or."dn't afford the my friend hassan washington. these kids, i watch them grow up. 2000 two. election in
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and now i one 2006. i saw some signs. one day i came home and felt -- and i smelled something pungent. something i had not smelled since i was at stanford university. i smelled 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 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. and now you have a kid that is , arrested, a kid in my office
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the other day, who was put in jail 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. you cannot get business licenses. can't get food stamps, public housing. suddenly, your life options are constricted. so walking into that lobby, what might have been humorous at stanford university was a crisis for me in the projects in the project lobby. so i thought i'm going to intervene with these kids. i started seeing gang tanks. i said, let's get out. let's go to the movies. bad 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.
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i took them to my favorite diner. i brought friends of mine. not from government but guys involved in the kind of activities i was worried they had truths to tell them. and i was getting excited. but i got busy with the bigger mission. and i did not follow through with these kids. because suddenly i was running for mayor again. in 2006. 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. and i tell you, these young men hassan, even though i did not follow through, they followed through by lifting me up. they would look at me and say,
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we got your back. i would say, don't vote for me because you are only 16-years-old or 17-years-old. [laughter] and i came home and they had lawn signs. it was like a parade. 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? because those are expensive. laughter] senator booker: but 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.
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so the kids never hung out in the lobby. i decided i would be out there. i talked to people. every time i could, the violence was the biggest issue. street corner.a violence was the biggest issue. i was running around the city. got inaugurated in july. it was august and i got called to a street corner. onto anas being put ambulance. i was talking to the police. i could barely acknowledge the humanity that played out. i was working 18-20 hour 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. my hand stopped because the name i saw of the murdered boy was
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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 just not because of hard week 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. hassan.iled us on -- i will never forget his funeral. i have been to too many funerals. it was down in that basement
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room. i hated going down into that basement. walking down into that narrow staircase. it feels like you are descending into the bowels of the ship. and there it was, a packed room. people piled in on top of each other. in grief to see another everyday american reality. a boy in a box. dead. and the world was not stopping the world was not taking notice. i was mayor of the city now. i achieved my greatest hope and aspirations for my career. 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. and finally, i'm embarrassed to admit this. i couldn't stay. i said, we got to get out of here.
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i jumped in my new nice suv and drove to city hall. and ran up the stairs because i did not want to have delivered 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, mind you, but for the first time as the mayor of new jersey's largest city, i sat there and wet. wept.d all i could think to myself is that i failed my father's legacy. we were crowded in that funeral home for that boy's death. but where were we for his life? sen. 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. as the fourth elected african-american of this
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position in the history of our country. but i am telling you this right now? all of my life now goes 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 broke me and healed me and 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 the 1980's, julia jones son was ,- a tenant, ms. or genia jones her 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.
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she could have walked out but she did not leave. 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. miss virginia jones. i stopped in the lobby and i look across at her and she must have heard my thoughts because she turned around and it's wise woman looks at me and said nothing. all she does is do exactly what i needed. she opened her arms. she is a small woman. i am 6'3", a big man. but i scurried across the courtyard like a child and
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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 wants to fret and dismay about the current state of our political affairs. this is the message i have two people who forget where we come from. that we have been that daniel in the lion's den but we rose up.
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[applause] booker: that we have been joseph 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 in antarctica and pain that i would never know. and as i was there in her arms, she rubbed my back and she said two words. "stay faithful." stay faithful. stay faithful. hownt to tell you now martin luther king closed his speech. remaining awake through a great said i will not
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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 we will be that david against thatout alliance. the goliath of neglect, refusing to deal of problems to make america not great again, 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
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where we are sitting on a couch so upset about what is going on, but failed 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 action, no matter how small in the cause of justice is ever wasted. we are here because of the small, aggregated acts of others. will end with the challenge from 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. called on us to declare an oath, not with our words, but our
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actions. he simply said -- "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, me. who made america, whose sweat and blood and pain, who must make our mighty dream live again. oh yes, i say it plain. america never was america to me but i swear this oath, america ill be." us,angston hughes called 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] sharpton: senator cory
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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. let make knowledge though before bringing in our next -- i must acknowledge the head of our washington bureau who does tremendous work. she organized and was the point person for this march on saturday that people saw all over the world. most of our chapter leaders and staff is under 40 and she represents the personification
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of continuing the tradition of the king type movement, which national action network unashamedly is. her a hand.o give [applause] rev. sharpton: ebony represents -- the bible goes on continuity. everybody thinks they have to do something new. what you do is be able to continue turning the wheel in a new way. because it works. and she represents that and we are very proud of her leadership and what she does. our older staff members, reverend tuned is upstairs.
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probably breaking up his potatoes so he could eat it. [laughter] we are gladrpton: to have all of them. dr. king would share a building with the black radio station. and when they were involved in a campaign they would knock on the wall and mrs. king would tell drop the mic or lift the talk inr. king could tell them where he was going so people could rally around whatever he was doing. fromve come a long way somebody passing the mic out the
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window, and being able to communicate to black america in only a small amount of miles. we were able to get some ownership. but no one perfected it more and took it more seriously than our kathy hughes. [applause] reverend 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. radio tv one.
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in the radioive station but she kept building. let us be honest. she not only had to face racism in terms of getting finances and bank loans. she had to face sexism from even black men who felt black women should not be at the level of business that she was at and 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
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person. 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 up here and correct me. we do not even have governments in africa that own that. and this woman did it by wit and grit and determination and faith in god. and never ever forgot why she did it. 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.
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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 knows that you cast on the debris of time,
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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 on adulterated and unmolested. the queen if you medication, 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,
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from whom all blessings flow. we give our great creator a round of applause. 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. considering mr. booker used everybody's time -- [laughter] 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
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-- 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 say you -- 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 done is reactivated activism, ok? [applause] folks are awake now all right? so he has had his first major
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accomplishment because everybody accomplishment because everybody is going to be on his behind. you kept the blueprint a live on how to effectively represent your community and get things done, make change. 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] 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 and the university of
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phoenix. the university of phoenix has brooke's nephew, 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 -- the one we were in all day yesterday right across the street from the school is the middle school.
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he has identified if we do not catch future generations by the time we are in trouble. what they have also identified is the large number of teachers and classrooms, particularly in urban areas that did not major in education here 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. he spent four years learning how to prepare children for the future. what has happened with the economy being what it is, just about everybody with a degree who cannot find a job in their discipline, they teach in the inner city. what mr. jones, under the banner
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of the triangle, radio tv one and the university of phoenix put together, is the program specifically geared to ward teachers in the in's -- enter city 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. 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.
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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 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. this partnership is something new for the 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 and then and decision-makers. i saw marcela jones, barbara jackson, people in here who can
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move needles on supporting these types of programs around countries. it does not take a lot. most of the teachers want the training, so many individuals in these inner-city classrooms really want to do a better job but don't know how or where to go. i share that story with you this morning as just one more thing the national action that work under the leadership of the incredible alfred charles sharpton, get involved in to encourage you all, take a look around. is there not 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
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of our youth, all of us will be dinosaurs. we will be extinct in the african-american community. our future is in trouble. i accept this today and i accept it on the -- on behalf of the 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 junior high school. going to prison was just the next transition in their life. we have got to stop it here and i want to say thank you to all of you who rave the weather. 10,000 people in d.c. showing up in the sleet is a big number. [applause] d.c. is an interesting city. we do not mess with rain, snow, sleet, or hail in washington, d.c. we would take on the president
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and prudent and anyone else, we do not mess with mother nature in the city. we stay home in washington dc when the weather is bad. we are known for that around the world. reverend out, 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. 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 both for the honor. [applause] rev. sharpton: kathy hughes,
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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 every year. and the publisher of the unquestioned bible of black women, that is in our own -- that is our own michelle. and the publisher of the stand up, michelle.
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give her a big hand. [applause] every year, you don't even have to ask people at major airports right before the fourth of july. we just show up and they give us our ticket to new orleans. [laughter] you, we goould tell three days and it now, because they are sold out. that is where everybody goes, to new orleans. [laughter] you ain't black till you have been in new orleans on the fourth of july. you really black. [laughter] now, we go to bourbon in theber, and michelle is only one i know who makes the 17 hour plane ride feel like it's all right.
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fornt your private plane south africa. i heard about your grandma and cake and all that but you didn't tell anyone you had a private plane. [laughter] and grandma didn't buy that for you. everybody was feeling all bad, and this is a true story, it's a great inspiration, but i want you to know he'll is in the mansion, he's got a private jet, and grandma didn't buy that, don't be too sad. corey still lives in the middle of newark. [laughter] i need my navigator to get to your house. one of the critical issues of our time is criminal justice. kathy hughes said something that is true -- they don't talk about
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things, and then there are those that do things. in the midst of this great debate, one man stood up in the i am goingaid that to restore the voting right of those that have served their thatand served the time the laws have put on the books they are required to do. they should have the right to vote on lawmakers again. popular tois not stand up in virginia and do what this governor did. he wentot only did it, to court and everything and he aood there as anyone that is
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true believer is civil in voting rights would do. terry mcauliffe, standing there as the governor of virginia, to restore rights is only one example of his career is standing when it was not and is not popular. and at the same time, for thating a new leadership has national ramifications. the job that he has brought, standing on various civil rights and human rights issues, refusing in the deep south to act like yesterday, but bringing the deep south into a new, deeper understanding of what we must do this century. it gives us great comfort to know that this new president
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only has to look across the border at virginia to find out what is really possible in america in regions that we used to label as one way. thank god terry mcauliffe brings another way. i have known him for a long time. when i read for president, there were those that said to him, he is a troublemaker, don't let him in a debate. he said he is a candidate and i win in every debate. when we got to the convention, they said that the rules are you can't say certain things in your speech. -- and i met him before i spoke -- said to me, you've got your speech? do what you got to do. and i did. [laughter] [applause]
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been in the trenches together, but i have never been more proud than when he stood up and fought the right-wingers that did not want to restore voting rights in the state of virginia. he is the governor of the commonwealth of virginia, he is a civil and voting rights champion, and we honor him governo terryterr mcauliffe. [applause] e:,aulliff good m good morning everybody. move your families you are only two miles from virginia. i want to thank you all for being here tonight, and i want to thank reverend sharpton. we have known each other for two decades.
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he will not find a more passionate advocate for civil rights than al sharpton. when he finally ran for president, i was chairman of the national party. a what people try to keep him out. they said he couldn't come to the debate. i said, as long as i'm chairman of this party, al sharpton is going to be at every single thing every other candidate was going to be at, and i said -- one of my best moments was, going to the streets of detroit, an experience i will never forget. the man is a true legend. even had the same in the chair and they gave me a haircut, it was pretty good. [laughter] what an honor to be here with you today. life'sluther king said most persistent question is what are you doing for others, and that is what i think about every single day as governor.
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you have a tremendous amount of power when you are governor of one of our 50 states. it is how you use that power in what you do for people. i want to say all of you in this 44 your trend to become governor of the commonwealth of virginia. it was a long -- yes, it yourselves a great run of applause. it was a long, hard fight. whoever wins the white house, the other party wins the governor's mention. i leaned in on the issues, and i thank you for being in the march -- it was cold and rainy, but you never give up. i promise all of you that i would never give up. i believef my being, everybody has a right to a second chance. second chances matter to people. everybody makes mistakes. you want to welcome people back into society. i was a kid who grew up in upstate new york. i had to start my first business and i was 14 years old, when i would be able to go to college.
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companies, i0 have been an entrepreneur my whole life. i have always left politics back.e you can get since the day i took office when i stood on the steps of our capital, which as you know was designed by thomas jefferson in 1785, think about this -- urging his first governor, patrick henry, give me liberty or give me death, started the american revolution. our second governor, thomas jefferson. now, terry mcauliffe. [laughter] is this not a great country we live in? i was born in new york, but whatever. [laughter] but from the second i took that oath, i started to work to help people. my first executive order -- no discrimination in the state workforce, will not be tolerated. said we will box, not allow discriminatory practices on state hiring. [applause]
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i did an executive order to remove the confederate flag from every license plate in the commonwealth of virginia. [cheers and applause] i was not going to tolerate discriminatory language in the state, that is not how you grow. the efforts of my wife, our first lady, millions of needy children got access to breakfast. children are hungry to learn but they can't learn if they are hungry. so that we are feeding all the children. i just put $1 billion -- [cheers and applause] i just put $1 billion into education, the largest investment ever. pre-k all the way to 12, everyone deserves a quality education. a new initiative, classrooms not cours courtrooms. too many children are being suspended. keep them in the classroom, help these people grow and learn.
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[applause] i started an issue for challenged kids, and we tried to lean in. but my proudest moment of my life was april 22, when i stood on the steps of the capitol. i stood in the spot where 1902, a state senator, put into our constitution, a poll tax and in 1902 tax, he said on the capital, i am doing this to eliminate the darkie from being a political force in virginia. that was his quote. 114 years later, i got to stand in that spot and restore the in00 felons0-600 the commonwealth of virginia. [applause]
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it was the single largest in franchise and of rights for felons of any governor in the history of the united states of america. it was the right thing to do. i was sick and tired of walking around and people coming up to me, a young father saying on election day, i would go to a voting booth and try to get my sticker. i hope somebody dropped one so i could put it on my lapel pin and tell my children because i was too embarrassed. why do we treat people like second-class citizens? i said we won't tolerate it, so i restore the rights, and guess what happened? speaker in the senate leader sunni, to the -- sued me, took me to the supreme court. unfortunately virginia is one of two states where the supreme court is picked by the legislature, so the plaintiffs are the people who put them in court. in full disclosure, i went to
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georgetown law school, got a scholarship, but i ran three companies, i wasn't there much. [laughter] if you are ever going to hire me to be your lawyer. but even i knew the phrase, the governor has the authority to restore rights was not obligated. they ruled against me, 4-3, saying that no governor has ever done this, therefore we cannot let into this. of course not, this was a hard thing to do. that is why people didn't do it. they said, he has to do it individually. so i call the press conference the next day and said i will myself, 206,000 line them up, let's go. [applause] well, guess what? they didn't like that either. and i got sued again, this time for contempt of court. i have the badge of honor of being the first governor to be
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sued for contempt of court. i told the attorney general, reverend, i hope they put me away for a couple days. i could have "letters from richmond." my wife could bring the lunch every day. but this time the supreme court said, no, the governor is doing the right thing. we proceeded to restore these rights. and i will tell you one final story. i got a call my office from the daughter of nathaniel barnes. he was 79 years old. 's daughter called and said he has never been able to vote in his entire life, in 60 years. he really wanted a vote in last year's presidential election. they went down to portsmouth and i did the ceremony. he wasn't feeling well so his daughter came. i did about 100 orders that day. i signed his order, to get home, his daughter called me and said,
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this is the first time i saw him smile and 60 years. unfortunately, mr. burns died five days before the election. however, as his daughter said, he died a full citizen of the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] so i thank you for this award. this is why you get into politics. this is why you all help people get elected. theypeople get elected, want those elected officials to take action. they don't want talk, they don't want speeches, they want action. that is why you will work so hard. when i tried to convince everybody -- look at virginia. when i became governor, unemployment was 5.4% and we got it down to 3.7%, the steepest drop in 32 years. when you treat people with dignity, everything except and people want jobs. i thank you for this award. nowll fly back to richmond because i have another big announcement.
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day, you all king know who barbara johns is. 16 years old, prince henry wo schools, one for black children, it was horrible. and i'm notd girl, going to stand for this. in the mid-50's in virginia? she lead the revolt. they walked out of that school and they built a new school in prince henry county. acause of her action, 16-year-old girl who had the courage to fight. we have a new attorney general's office of virginia, a brand-new state office building, and i am naming that building in honor from today going forward, the barbara john statehouse office building. [laughter] [applause] thank you.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> given other hand, governor terry -- give another hand, governor terry mcauliffe. i told he and senator booker in the back, taking pictures, of barack obama who spoke the year before he was elected president -- great things come when you come through here. nothing, i'mcting not calling nothing. but, you know, when i was growing up, i'm so glad trouble don't last always, neither will trump last. [applause]
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as we bring on our next awardee, and lusting knowledge some of our -- i must acknowledge some of our young folks who worked with us, who have shown the courage to stand and speak to power, speak truth to power. i am so glad, from your state, angela rise. stand up. [applause] cnn, but she broke her teeth on politics. we're very proud of her. i'm also proud of our sister, simone sanders.
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stand up, simone. [applause] coming, we got a crew that is going to change things. -- sent tod as when us when we came to washington for the opening of the smithsonian museum that that this is cultural history. i said that you could shake this woman's hand and it is tantamount to shaking hands with our history of excellence and 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 enjoyed by the world, it is personified by this actress,
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choreographer, director. she does it all. dancer, everything. dancer, everything. anything that is of excellence in the culture she has mastered it. she has never shamed us and us, has us, has pushed without insulting us, has made us grow without making us uncomfortable. she isan award winner -- a graduate of howard university -- [cheers and applause] she will tell you that and make you understand that. she is award-winning director and choreographer. she has choreographed the academy awards 10 times. as directed and
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choreographed for michael jackson and mariah carey and james earl jones, janet, whitney houston, sammy davis, on and on. if anyoneu know i -- can handle michael and sammy and mariah in one lifetime and not have all gray hair -- [laughter] -- you should get every award just for that. [laughter] she has received a golden globe award for her role as lydia "fame," the 1980's hit three time any award winner and choreographer, on and on. i mean, she is a producer now of "grey's anatomy," and she holds a recurring role there. she has done guest directing, and from "scandal" to "how
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to get away with murder," that's a show, not an act -- [laughter] culturalnifies artistic excellence at its best, without lowering in any way the standard that made us proud as a people. it is with great honor that we give this king day award to the one and only debbie allen. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, reverend sharpton. thank you so much for inviting me to come here today. my sister said you have to go, it will be fun.
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[laughter] you will see so many people. this is certainly an honor for me and for my whole family and my community, because this is the first time that you have given the award for excellence in the arts. [cheers and applause] this says that the work that we do is relevant, important,. and transformative you are talking about not just me, but the great writers, august wilson, the actors, denzel washington -- a long laundry list of incredible people -- spike lee, people that i have worked with, michael and sammy, i do deserve an award for just that, but we are going to talk about something else. [laughter] i am born out of houston, texas at a time when jim crow was a big fact of life.
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i grew up where there were white only water fountains, we couldn't go to restaurants, couldn't go to the movie theater, i couldn't go to dance class. a mother moved to mexico, place where we didn't speak the language, we didn't know where we were, but they welcomed us. i trained at the ballet nationale, and when i came back 11, civile old age of rights was tearing the country apart and dr. kayden came to our house and had dinner, because we all marched. there was no one to young to stand up and speak. we learned this very early on. courage was not even a question, it was a fact of life, that you had to have courage. first black dancer at the houston ballet foundation. [applause]
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a foundation that have rejected me when i was eight years old. i got in when i was 14. my mother tried to pretend i was mexican and they still wouldn't take me. [laughter] but things happened there all the time, you have to believe that. i grew up with a sense of struggle, standing up, being courageous, doing things that may not always be comfortable or may be safe. i went to howard university after i -- [cheers and applause] yes, after i was rejected from a major performing arts school. they rejected me. when my on to live found -- when maya angelou found out about it, she got on the board and said never again. i got an honorary doctorate years later. but howard university was transformative for me. it was where i was nurtured, midwifed into a world
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that i knew i had to go and do something. it wasn't about being cute and dancing and shaking it, what were you shaking at about? what was it going to be about? coming out of howard university, there was an incredible so many great, great teachers who were my mentors and remain my mentors through my whole professional career. i went on a journey that i am still on today, and i know that the arts are transformative. i have traveled the world. i have traveled the world -- i have been to china, india, israel,, palestine, south africa, london, paris. in places where we don't speak the same language or even pray to the same god, we can dance to
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the same beat. we can move. there is something about cultural diplomacy that is more powerful and almost anything. you have to know that out of america, hip-hop culture is the greatest export, it is. i went to the middle east and i was afraid because there's a man who kept calling my office -- i'm not going anywhere with someone named osama, no. then one day he caught me on the phone and said, you are being racist! wow. he was right. i was judging him because of his name and where he was. he was in beirut. go, but you know what i did, i took my best assistance, and we had to do something and come home with a head on a plate, i don't know. we went over there and had in addition. they needed me to help me do
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this big production. i didn't see the guys that i wanted. that was about basketball -- my husband is an nba all-star, -- [laughter] like -- i went to a museum. is is what i learned. the arts, this is how we lived. we couldn't go to the restaurant, they didn't minus going to the museum. they go to the concerts. i went to the museum, and this man with the rifle -- it have a little red dot -- that followed us. oh, god, they are going to take us, they won't get any money -- [laughter] -- my assistant was dancing to the museum. he put his rifle down -- i'm not making this up -- he put his rifle down and started clapping. "i have a friend who dances just
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like you." said, in a dark alley, i honey, i even called colin powell, because i have known him since i was a child -- [laughter] lead, we wents into this room, it was a club, and those boys were breakdancing and bouncing off the walls like nothing i've ever seen. they had learned it from the internet, they wanted to be like us. they wanted to be with us. i went around the room -- had 15 of them meet me tomorrow at the theater, and i brought them all. osama said, you better not do this.
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i said, i have to do what i have to do. i later realized women don't talk like that over there. [laughter] i hired all those young men, and those young men became my sons. i said, i have to do what i have to do. iraq, andm was from i found myself apologizing for what we have done to their country. of the arts is universal. stephen hawking says -- he talked about how millions of years ago, we all ran around like animals until something miraculous happened, we learned how to speak, and we learned how to listen. our greatest accomplishments happen when we talk, and our greatest failures happen when we don't. the language of the dance is a conversation that we will have and we must continue to have. i have worked very hard, and my purpose in life has been young people. i started the debbie allen dance academy 16 years ago, and i touched millions. when i say millions, i'm
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serious. millions of young people with the arts. and i stood up for them. i did a different world, we changed lives with that show, we changed lives with fame -- [laughter] [applause] we haveanatomy," millions of young people that want to be in the medical profession. is art. if you took the art out of your life, life would be dim. -- i just did a production here in washington called "freeze-frame: stop the madness," and i threw my hat in the ring because i can take the violence anymore, i can't take the abuse. i gave a face and a voice to young people in inner cities, and in the dance driven narrative, we addressed the challenges they are having with the police and gangs and drugs and education and laws and religion. all in dance, and music, and
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spoken word. i hope to take this production around the country, because we needed now more than ever, right now, we needed more than ever. i thank you for this award. beneath my wings to keep plowing the field, keep your hands on the plow. that is who i am, i am a worker bee, that is what my name means in greek, bee. deborah is my name, it means little bee. i'm a worker bee. so thank you, reverend sharpton. thanks to all the honorees -- congratulations. i will see you out there in the field. [applause]
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>> given other hand to the one and only debbie allen. [applause] dr. king was assassinated in memphis, tennessee. down at thead gone request of the local minister to aide in the strike of the union that represented garbage collectors. the twin always been brothers and sisters of the civil rights movement, and every year, we give all labor award. it was true that this is the first arts award, and it will be hard to find someone to fill the vacancy next year. i want to bring up the
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president of the american federation of government workers who i call reverend because he can preach, y'all. he preached until we forgot it was called. who's going to help present the labor award, and of course our board member will help. some are slipping out because we have a 1:00 in harlem, but i want to give the award to the mayor. this is not a luncheon, this is a breakfast, so we won't be here -- [laughter] >> some of y'all start looking at the lunch menu, you won't be here that long. and we did not pay for lunch. [laughter] michelle, get them in, get them out. hear as he presents
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the labor award on my behalf -- on our behalf, my brother and friend, president j. david cobbs. [applause] good morning, brothers and sisters. i can tell you what, when i grow up, i want to be just like reverend al. i promise you that. my idol, my dream. i think so much of reverend al. also, the civil rights movement. let's call it a movement not a campaign,, y'all, a movement. 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. morning, a this wonderful person. i remember as i first became a local president back in 1988, my hair was black and i was smaller
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than i am now, i can promise you, and my wife can tell you i was good-looking then. i got a call from a lady that, 'm dorothy james and i'm running to be the national vice president for women's unfair practice. then we just called it 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 in north carolina. she's up there in michigan, that she is calling me up to ask for my vote in for my support. that is when i first met dorothy jane. little did i know that dorothy jane had been activist, had been out there fighting, civil rights, labourites, human rights, women's rights, for many many years, and she continues
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that fight as the national vice president for asg's seventh district, probably representing michigan, wisconsin, and illinois. we are going to have some change in wisconsin and michigan and illinois, i promise you. it is happening. a true labor leader and a true friend and a person that has helped mentor me and been a supporter of mine and also of the labor movement and civil rights movement. it is with great pleasure to present dorothy james, national vice president -- [cheering] [applause]
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>> i'd like to thank all of you for taking the time out to be here today when you could have been doing something else, and i would certainly like to thank the national action network and reverend sharpton for this award union, theially my american federation of government employees -- [cheers and applause] -- as well as my staff that's here today from chicago, from my district office in chicago. they are sitting here. [applause] as well as national vice president, other thanwe are goie in wisconsin and michigan and illinois, i promise myself, that are here in attendance, and all afge employees from our headquarters, as well as my lifelong partner, gerald
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marotta. [applause] and he keeps me grounded, and all my affiliates that are supporting me. thrilled toy receive this very awesome award on this very important day, and i am very glad that i am able to smell the roses instead of having this done posthumously. listened to the speakers that have gone before me, i would say what our grandparents said is that i am picking and high cotton today. i do definitely appreciate it. a little bit about my background -- i am called a national vice president representing the states of michigan, illinois, and wisconsin. i have been a dues paying member for 43 years. [applause]
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i am glad to receive the labor award, and i'm glad to know that it is included in the program of nan, because labor is very 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, and that is essentially the reason why this administration and other conservative, ultra-right administrations do want to see unions eliminated. and they are making every move, working 24/7, to see that they are eliminated. as federal employees, we are in a unique position, not only are
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we concerned with what the administration is going to be dealing with our care, social security and medicare, when you work for the federal government, all your benefits are derived from congress. congress is our boss. are wages and our health benefits come from congress. there is always a healing cry to cut the budget, federal employees will be the first to feel the lash. as we speak, these people that are working 24/7, making every effort to see that we feel it really bad, they are coming up with proposals and bills that will eliminate our official time to represent employees, also eliminate our ability to collect dues from employees to pay for operating the union. this is very detrimental to us. within the afge we have a great
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legislative department, and we have to, because all of our benefits come from congress, so we have to lobby congress. and we don't just lobby for federal benefits, we lobby for all of the agencies that help the community, such as the veterans affairs department, that the administration definitely wants to dismantle, including the environmental protection agency that they want to dismantle. there are plans to eliminate dues deductions, contracts, the epa, department of education, and da. there is this budget cutting action that goes on, in the mantra from our congressional representatives is that they will balance the budget on the backs of the federal employees.
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so we have to be forever vigilant. we have to be out there on the front lines, protecting your interests and hours in mobilizing our members to do so. we are concerned and we are fearful of what is going on with the trump picks, and looking at the people that he is taking, stephen bannon, for instance, is chief strategist, best known for his racist publication and his use that are very alarming to us. then there's rex tillerson, the secretary of state, best known for his close relationships and his friendship with putin and the russian government,'s involvement with exxon mobil, and his billion-dollar oil deal with russia. at the secretary of state. henry have the secretariat --
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then we have the secretary of labor, the ceo of fast food restaurants that objects entirely to minimum wage increases. he cares less for the least of us. devos, go on to betsy secretary of education, best known for her family fortune and her republican fundraising and her strong support for charter schools and her into 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 end there. we go to scott putin, the attorney general, former attorney general of oklahoma, who would be the
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secretary of the environmental protection agency. this is the agency that oversees our climate controls and makes recommendations to sue companies for polluting this particular bit. times,sued the eap three and it is his desire to dismantle the agency entirely. afge as 19,000 dues paying members that work for this agency, so not only is he a climate change denier, he wants to eliminate the agency as well as those jobs. then we have ben carson. the only of hud, african-american pick in the welfare.and he opposes
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he didn't oppose food stamps when he and his mother, the single mother, receives food stamps. promotes the bootstrap theory, you must pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. originally he declined the appointment as secretary of hud, and according to armstrong williams, he did so because he lacked experience in running a major agency, but now he is in charge of running that major agency. and, of course, we have senator cory's best friend -- [laughter] -- jeffrey sessions as the attorney general. remarksrised all of his weren't focused on jeffrey sessions. he is best known for using the
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n-word, for one thing, and calling black men and boys. and he is certainly known for that vicious attack on civil rights workers, in which he tried to get them jailed, and people like cory booker fought and fought, and that is why he broke precedent as a senator and spoke out against this appointment. [applause] sir. you, and we appreciate that. but the fact is these appointments are pretty much on lockdown. we expect that they are going to be approved. so it's going to be a rainy day for all of us. the trump administration and trunk reminded me of something i heard on tv recently on this series called "black sales." i don't know if you have tuned
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into it. i heard the commercial about it. thatthe commercial says is 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 organizations out there, concerned citizens, religious groups, youth, and retirees. and we don't all come together on the same points are the same
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note. we have ideological differences, egos, personality conflicts and a lot of internal bickering. you see it in the church, the boy scouts, and every place else. and as someone says, when you 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 rowing together. if we cannot minimize these fractional differences that we have in a leaky boat, we are all going to be sinking. [applause] ms. james: this administration is down for all the marbles. everything we have fought for his on the line. justice, dignity,
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and our equality. 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. we have achieved unthinkable results, drawing upon the strengths of our forefathers and each other. 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]
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>> 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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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[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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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-- 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.
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-- 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
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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.
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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]
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>> 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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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try to explain these historical granted my kids, reversing a say as well, they walked 50 miles? 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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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they coined this phrase, sitting tomorrow 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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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c-span,r: here on washington journal is next. after a short health session, samantha power talks about foreign affairs in her last speech as u.n. ambassador rice then watch as the interior secretary and education secretary testify at the house hearings on the hill. cries on today's washington journal, we take a look at foreign policy under president obama and some of the challenges that remain as he prepares to leave office. by michaeljoined
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breen and jay carafano. and kept during his time in office. ♪ it is the washington journal for january 17, donald trump companies will face senate hearings today as choice for and hisn secretary choice for energy secretary. 2:15ll have his hearing at this afternoon. both of those hearings you can see on c-span. go to our website at for information on both of the hearings. day,days until election


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