HRC Blog

HRC attends National Action Network’s Breakfast Honoring Martin Luther King Day

The following post is by Rev MacArthur Flournoy and Donna Payne:

Founder, Rev. Al Sharpton led his organization, the National Action Network in the annual breakfast honoring Martin Luther King Day in Washington, DC.  The event’s motto was:  King, Don’t Just Celebrate, EMULATE.  There were over 100 civil rights leaders, Union representatives, and dignitaries attending.  Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama gave the opening remarks for the occasion.  She contended that if President Obama is to be re-elected every vote will matter, and everyone should be welcomed and included in voter registration efforts.  HRC has participated in NAN’s Hate Crimes rallies and Remembrance of King’s March on Washington Speech.

The annual breakfast centered around acknowledging people in the community that have emulated Dr. King’s dream.   The National Action Network (NAN) was founded in 1991 in Harlem, New York to do social justice work.  In July, they opened another office in Washington, DC.  The MLK Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Berry Gordy of Motown Records.  His work in creating the sound and branding Motown Records in the U.S. was showing empowerment.  However, behind the scenes, he encouraged Dr. King and supported artist getting involved in the Civil Rights movement.   The Breaking Barriers Award was given to Alexis Herman; the Economic Justice Award was given to James Mitchell, Jr of General Electric Company; and the Lifetime Corporate Achievement Award was given to Maurice Cox of PepsiCo.

Rev. Al Sharpton was direct as he called for an all-encompassing justice that boldly includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Challenging the African American community to decisively support LGBT people, he commented “A segregated justice is no justice at all.

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