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Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network will convene in Washington, DC for NAN’s annual national convention from April 11-14 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center featuring a who’s who in politics, civil rights, education, business, the church, Corporate America and much more. The four day event honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and will consist of a series of plenary sessions, panels and special events. Featured Plenary speakers and special guests include: the Attorney General of the U.S. Eric Holder, Harvard University Professor Dr. Charles Ogletree, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, David Gregory (NBC’s Meet the Press Moderator), U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and more.

Each year NAN hosts the national convention to bring together influential leaders in civil rights, government, business, and media and within the church to focus on the issues most important in civil rights that year including voting rights, education, jobs, healthcare, youth violence and social justice.

The convention will close with a televised symposium taking place at Howard University entitled: “Measuring the Movement: Black Leadership’s 12-Month Action Plan” featuring Black leaders of constituencies across the country. For the third year, leaders will assess where we are and what they and their respective organizations will pledge to do over a 12-month time-frame to further critical issues impacting people of color including, but not limited to, education reform, unemployment, health care and more. The collective will discuss the real problems and how we will not only hold the President and Administration of the United States accountable, but how we will hold ourselves accountable and tangibly measure our movement over a 12-month period to enact change.

The week after the convention, NAN will host its 14th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 in New York City at Cipriani on Wall Street. The awards – given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death — honor those who have continued to advocate for the principles for which Dr. King gave his life. The Keepers of the Dream awards are given by members of the civil rights community who have committed themselves to fairness and racial harmony. Among the honorees this year are: Denzel & Pauletta Washington, Karla Ballard, Chief of Strategic Development, Media and National Partnerships One Economy, Richard Parsons Chairman of Citigroup and the former Chairman and CEO of Time Warner, and Doug Morris CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. There will be special remarks by Bill Cosby.

Last year NAN’s 20th Anniversary Convention was highlighted by a keynote address by President Barack Obama, and in years before, NAN has featured Vice President Joseph Biden, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and many others.

For more information about the convention, visit

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