The National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, joins with the Urban League of Philadelphia to present its 2013 Annual Conference, “Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America,” from July 24-27 in Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  Taking place in the 50th anniversary year of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the conference builds on the Urban League’s platform to address the employment and education crisis facing the nation and includes an emergency plenary session on voting rights, among other urgent issues facing the nation.  The conference, which will convene leaders from more than 300 communities in 40 states, is expected to attract 6,000 attendees and to infuse more than $8 million into the local Philadelphia economy.

For four days, policy makers, scholars, and business and community leaders from across the country will join registrants for nearly 40 engaging and informative workshops, panels, luncheons, receptions and more.  Sessions include an Emergency Town Hall on Voting Rights and Justice to discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling on Section Four of the Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional.  The town hall will be moderated by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry and will feature among others U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who will deliver remarks.  The “Redeem the Dream: 50 Years and Marching On” plenary features Congressman John Lewis, who will receive the Civil Rights Champion Award, and panelists including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Melanie Campbell, Barbara Arnwine, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. and Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League.

“Fifty years since the March on Washington, the 2013 National Urban League Conference looks back at our nation’s history, celebrates our progress and recognizes how far we still have to go to realize a future with inalienable equality,” said Morial.  “We are excited to be in Philadelphia as it embodies the very spirit of rebirth, liberty and justice that we strive for and that inspires this year’s conference theme.  As we focus on the job creation and training that will help rebuild our economy and provide opportunity for all citizens, we are redoubling our efforts around both voter equality in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling against Section Four of the Voting Rights Act and civil rights justice in the wake of the acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case.  The 21st century civil rights struggle has never before confronted us so boldly and clearly.   There is absolutely no commemoration without a continuation.”

Members of the public will have access to free events aimed at empowering their communities including:

  • The official conference kick-off, The State of the Urban League Address by Marc H. Morial
  • Career fair with more than 100 Fortune 500 recruiters and professional career coaches
  • Small Business Matters Entrepreneurship Summit with workshops on starting a business, financing and taking a small business to the next level
  • College fair with information on college admissions, financing and scholarship opportunities
  • Expo hall with hundreds of exhibitors, a Health Zone and celebrity-filled Empowerment Stage
  • “Hip Hop Culture: Exploitation and Empowerment” town hall featuring Big Daddy Kane, Wise Intelligent, Fruitvale writer and director Ryan Coogler, Jr. Music Executive President Aisha Winfield, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and others

“We are  proud to welcome the 2013 National Urban League Conference, a dynamic gathering that will feature something for everyone, to our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection,” said Patricia A. Coulter, President and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia. “As one of the Urban League’s network of 95 affiliates across the country, we look forward to this convening of our peers along with the nation’s top thinkers and leaders to explore the 21st century civic and economic innovation necessary to improve and empower our communities.”

Among other activities for registered attendees will be the star-studded red carpet advance screening of the movie “Baggage Claim” starring Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, LaLa Anthony, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Trey Songz, and Djimon Hounsou. Following the screening, attendees will be invited to participate in a Q&A with the film’s producer and cast members.

Additional confirmed participants for the 2013 Conference include producer/director Lee Daniels – who will receive the “Living Legend Award,” Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett,  GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt, Representative Chaka Fattah, Acting FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, MC Lyte, television producer and author Tonya Lewis Lee, ABC/WPVI anchor Tamala Edwards, Trumpet Awards Founder/CEO Xernona Clayton, journalist and host Ed Gordon, Black Women’s Health Imperative CEO Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, Essence Communications President Michelle Ebanks, and best-selling author Omar Tyree, among others.

Conference presenting sponsors include ARAMARK, Comcast NBCUniversal and AmeriHealth Caritas.



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