Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN) will convene their annual national convention April 3-6 to address civil rights, religion, immigration and many other key social justice issues that impact African Americans and people of color.

The convention will take place at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers and is free and open to the public. NAN’s convention will bring together influential national leaders in the areas of civil rights, government, labor, religion, business, politics, media, and activism.

The four-day conference will highlight issues that include Supreme Court hearings on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action, Marriage Equality, along with the issue of gun violence in black communities,

“I invite everyone to attend NAN’s 15th Annual National Convention and I intentionally make it free and open to the public (though you must register) so that everyday people can hear from the country’s leadership including United States Attorney General Eric Holder, The Education Secretary Arne Duncan and many others,” Sharpton told

Several other cabinet members from the Obama administration have confirmed, including, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as well as leading members of Congress and activists such as Martin Luther King, III, National Urban League President Marc Morial, NAACP President Ben Jealous, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice President Kerry Kennedy, and many others.

Both families of Hadiyah Pendleton, the 15-year-old who was fatally shot a week after performing with her high school band at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, and the family of Trayvon Martin will be in attendance.

One highlight of the conference will take place on April 4, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination when NAN host its 15th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards.

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.

“It has been fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of his “I Have a Dream” speech yet there is so much work to be done around equal rights and social justice. So please join us April 3-6 and get into the action,” Sharpton added.

There will also be a special televised forum on Saturday April 6 , the end of the convention, entitled “Measuring the Movement” hosted by Rev. Sharpton and  featuring many civil rights leaders, including Rev. Joseph Lowery, Otis Moss, Jr., and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

“Our civil rights are under imminent attack in this country from voter suppression, gun violence, joblessness, and corporate disenfranchisement, and we still have to fight for immigration reform, marriage equality, health care reform and accountability from our elected officials,” Sharpton said.

(Photo: AP)

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