The National Action Network (NAN) is continuing on a rapid pace toward the achievement of true change in 2011 and beyond. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN is one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations. Its mission is to “promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for social justice and one standard of justice and decency for all people regardless of race, religion, national origin, and gender.”
Last year at the National Action Network’s 12th annual conference, the organization outlined measurable steps which should be taken by federal and state governments, grassroots organizations, and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Americans.
Ninety days after the 2010 conference, NAN released a progress report measuring the success of steps taken toward achieving conference goals.
On the topic of immigration, with regard to Arizona and the state’s passage of a bill which makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and gives police the right to stop and verify the citizenship status of those they suspect as being illegal, NAN has made monumental progress. The National Action Network partnered with many Latino advocacy and grassroots organizations in its battle against this unjust law. By mobilizing a march in Arizona, NAN played a significant role in the response from the federal government. Months after the march, the Department of Justice sued the state of Arizona over the enforcement of immigration laws, stating that immigration policy has historically been the jurisdiction of the federal government.
Education has also been a long-time pillar of the civil rights movement. Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, therefore, invest significant efforts in promoting fair education in today’s modern civil rights movement. NAN participates in weekly educational briefings with the White House to address education reform and opportunities for African Americans. Sharpton is also working with the U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan to ensure that New York has successful charter schools.
Though the National Action Network is a young organization, its impact will be felt well beyond the twenty years that its been in existence. Through media broadcast and civil right initiatives, Reverend Al Shapton and the National Action Network staff push forward. 2011 is still a relatively new year, and no matter the issue to arise, the National Action Network, with chapters all over America, is certain to be heard.