Mayors of NY & Newark will convene here

Four days of serious talk will unite an amalgam of inspiring speakers from April 8 to 11 when the National Action Network holds their national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.

NAN founder Rev. Al Sharpton said cast members from the hit television shows “Black-ish” and the recently highly-rated “Empire” series are expected to join Mayors Bill deBlasio and Ras Che Baraka of Newark, New Jersey and intellectuals during the four-day confab which annually lures a list of who’s who for the spring event.

Academia, politicians, celebrities from sports and entertainment, scholars, educators, clergy, entrepreneurs, families victimized by police brutality – Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Trayvvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner – and a long list of respected experts plan to share honest information about their specialized fields of concern.

Through workshops and panel discussions, a wide range of topical issues will present the 2015 forum NAN members asked to be addressed.

Among them a discussion on “How Race is Covered in the Media,” a panel focussing on law and social justice — “Approach the Bar: A Discussion with Some of the Nation’s Top Legal Practitioners,” “Criminal Justice – The State Of Our Prisons and Jails In New York State,” “The Impact of Police Brutality: The Victims Speak,” “Disability Rights – At the Intersections of Justice: Fighting for the Rights of All,” “Environmental Justice – Killing Us Softly,” “Environmental Threats To Our Future,” and even an IT workshop titled “Technology Reaching Our Potential Through Technology.”

Sports will get its own spotlight when insiders talk about “Racism & Sexism in Sports.”

And the Black church will be the object of scrutiny on a panel “Can God Trust the Black Church to be Agents of Social Justice?”

“Truth to Power” a gospel revival with Rev. Marvin Sapp will probably mobilize many of the talking heads who participated in the previous-ly mentioned discussion.

An education panel –“Education of Students: Promoting Classroom Equality” will likely attract parents and youths concerned about the ins and outs maneuvering though kindergarten, high school or college.

To put emphasis on that discussion, Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education will punctuate, reject or analyze some of the talk and perhaps add the White House perspective on how the administration plans to improve on education.

The Healthcare Foundation will offer screenings and discussions on “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue.”

“Dealing with Health Disparities HIV/AIDS” and “Beyond the Stigma” are two more panels devoted to the controversial health topic.”

A focus on housing issues opens the floor for a panel entitled “Civil Rights and Activism in Housing.”

A conversation with Rev. Al Sharpton and his mentor Rev. Jesse Jackson might lure curious eavesdroppers, activists, potential organizers, youth, elderly, veterans and almost everyone interested in the American Civil Rights Movement.

“The Civil Rights Movement From Then To Now 50 Years Later” and “The Women of Selma” will certainly attract historians, students and many nostalgias.

The women’s only panel will focus on the topic “Securing Our Future” and the gender balancing “My Brother’s Keeper” is devoted to males.

Other alluring topics include “Homophobia in the Black Community,” and “Children of the Movement.”

Regarding the latter, next generation activists will opine on their years growing up with committed and dedicated parents.

Moderated by Dominique Sharpton, daughter of NAN founder, Rev. Al Sharpton, some of the panelists include:

Donzaleigh Abernathy and Kwame Abernathy, daughter and son of Dr. Ralph David Abernathy

Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jamida Orange, daughter of James Orange, Maalak and Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter s of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz and Ashley Sharpton, daughter of Rev. Sharpton.

With a keynote address added to the menu for the annual women’s power lunch, “When Women Win, We All Win” might serve as the main course for this paid mid-day event.

A fashion show, youth caucus and other attractions combine for free, four-day events that include a job fair which will provide opportunities for potential employment with onsite employers ready to interview qualified job seekers.

The annual, invitation-only, black-tie “Keeper of the Dream Dinner Awards” returns with an evening gala and a number of honorary acknowledgements to distinguished achievers.

This year the Humanitarian Award will be given to Lee Daniels, an actor, director and film producer whose work includes the TV hit “Empire” and the Academy Award nominated film “Precious.”

Awards will also be handed to motivational speaker and television personality Iyanla VanZant, Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, while posthumous honors will be awarded to the late actress Ruby Dee and poet Maya Angelou.

Yari Shahida, actress and actor Anthony Anderson from the hit TV show “Black-ish”are also expected to attend.

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Funeral arrangements for Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan have been finalized and details of the wake, viewing, repast and burial were recently confirmed.

According to a press release, Dr. Ben will lie in state at Abyssinian Baptist Church is located at 132 West 138th Street AKA Odell Clark Place (btw. Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. & Malcolm X Blvd.) in Harlem.

A viewing and wake will be held on April 9 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for the 96-year-old Egyptologist who died on March 19.

The following morning from 9:30 a.m. until noon, visitors will be able to pay respect before his burial at Ferncliff Cemetery – 280 Secor Rd., Ardsley, New York.

A repast will follow later at 2:00 p.m. at the Barbara Ann Teer National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Ave. (bet. 125th & 126th).

Cards and donations may be sent to Dr. Ben’s daughter – Ruth Johannes, 955 Walton Ave., Suite 2G, Bronx 10452.

Catch You On The Inside!