julian castro

HUD Secretary, Julián Castro

*NEW YORK – Today, Thursday, April 9, Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s (NAN) Annual Convention in New York City at 11:00 a.m. Castro has been serving as HUD Secretary since June of last year and is focused on achieving the Department’s mission of expanding opportunity for all Americans. Previously, he was Mayor of the City of San Antonio.

NAN will host its annual Keepers of the Dream Awards Thursday, April 9. The awards are given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s death and to honor those who have continued to advocate for the principles for which Dr. King gave his life. This year NAN will honor Lee Daniels, actor, film producer, and director; and producer of the biggest show of season, Empire. The show has dealt with important issues in the black community such as homophobia & mental illness. Anthony Anderson, star of TV show Blackish will also be honored, as well as many others who are trailblazers in their field. A photo opportunity with the honorees will be available at 7:15p.m. and the program will begin at 8:00p.m.

lee daniels

Lee Daniels

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author and professor of sociology at Georgetown University, will lead the day’s second plenary session at 3:45 p.m.

The 17th annual NAN convention convened by civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton in New York runs from April 8-11 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel and will bring together potential presidential candidates, civil rights leaders and elected officials. The conference is free and open to the public.

Media wishing to attend must please register in advance at: http://nationalactionnetwork.net/convention-2015/media-credentials/

WHEN: Today, Thursday, April 9

11:00 am – Plenary Session with HUD Secretary Castro

3:45 pm  – Plenary Session with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

7:15 pm – Keepers of the Dream Awards honoree photo opportunity

8:00 pm Keepers of the Dream Awards program begins

WHERE: Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

811 7th Avenue

New York, NY 10019 


Thursday, April 9, 2015 Full Schedule

9:00 a.m. Black Male Panel – My Brother’s Keeper
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
Dr. Marcus Bright, Executive Director, Education for a Better America
Carlos M. Chaverst, Jr., President, NAN Youth Move Birmingham, AL Chapter
Michael Cummings, Executive Director, We Care Outreach Ministries
David Jefferson, Jr., Program Director, City of Newark My Brother’s Keeper White House Challenge
Broderick Johnson, Assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force
Tracy Martin, Father of Trayvon Martin
Brian Pauling, President & CEO, 100 Black Men of America
Reverend Charles Williams II, President, NAN Detroit Chapter

10:30 a.m. For Sisters Only Panel – Securing Our Future
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
Mara Schiavocampo, Correspondent, ABC News and Author, Thinspired
Beverly Bond, Founder and Executive Director, Black Girls Rock, Inc.
Stefanie Brown James, CEO & Co-Founder, Vestige Strategies, LLC. and Founder, Brown Girls Lead, Inc.
Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, NCBCP & Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
Michaela Angela Davis, Image Activist and CNN Contributor
Janel George, Senior Education Policy Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Janaye Ingram, National Executive Director, National Action Network
Brianna Patterson, Northeast Regional Director, NAN Youth Move
Paula Peebles, Chair, NAN Philadelphia Chapter
Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, J.D., Executive Director, African American Policy Forum
Terrie Williams, Author, Mental Health Advocate
11:00 a.m. Plenary Session – Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net

11:15 a.m. Housing Panel – Civil Rights and Activism in Housing
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire West

Bertha Lewis, President & Founder, The Black Institute
Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice, New York Attorney General
Steven Brown, Executive Director, Building Skills New York
Allyson Carpenter, Ward 1 Neighborhood Commissioner, D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commission
Maurice Coleman, Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking
Annette Dennis, President, NAN Nassau County, NJ Chapter
Lisa Gomez, Chair, New York State Association for Affordable Housing
Shola Olatoye, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, New York City Housing Authority
Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director, Mutual Housing Association of New York, Inc.
Terri A. Thompson, Esq., Chairman, Board of Commissioners, District of Columbia Housing Authority
Darryl Towns, Commissioner and CEO, New York State Homes and Community Renewal
MaJurial Watkins, National Account Manager, Radian Guaranty, Inc.
Jonathan Westin, E.D., Director, New York Communities for Change
C. Renee Wilson, President, CTS Consulting Firm

12:00 p.m. Law and Social Justice Panel – Approach the Bar: A Discussion with Some of the Nation’s Top Legal Practitioners
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
Michael A. Hardy, Esq., Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NAN
Lisa Bonner, Esq., Bonner Law, P.C.
John Burris, Esq., Law Offices of John L. Burris
Randy Davenport, Esq., Law Office of Randy P. Davenport, Esq.
Geoffrey Fieger, Esq., Senior Partner, Fieger Law
Judge Faith Jenkins, Legal Commentator and Host, Judge Faith
Donna Lieberman, Esq. Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties Union
Pamela Meanes, Esq., President, National Bar Association and Partner, Thompson Coburn, LLP
Jonathan Moore, Esq., Partner, Beldock, Levine & Hoffman, LLP
Honorable William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr., Founder, Senior Partner, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
Joel Schmelkin, Esq., Schmelkin Associates, P.C.
Nancy E. Smith, Esq., Partner, Smith Mullin, P.C.
Wylie Stecklow, Esq., Partner, Stecklow Cohen & Thompson
Honorable J. Machelle Sweeting, Family Court Judge, New York City Civil Court

12:45 p.m. Health Care Panel – Dealing with Health Disparities
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire West
Sheila Thorne, President and CEO, Multicultural Healthcare Marketing Group, LLC President and CEO, Member, HHS/Office of Minority Health Region II Health Equity Council (NY/NJ/USVI/Puerto Rico)
J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Queenie Huling, Health & Wellness Committee Chair, NAN New York City Chapter
Traci Thompson Ferguson, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Services Management, WellCare
Lawrence Sanders, Jr., M.D., M.B.A., President, National Medical Association
Tamia Booker, Associate Director External Affairs, Immediate Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


1:30 p.m. Corporate Panel – Corporate America: Shake Down or Shake Up
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
Payne Brown, Managing Director, Highbridge Principal Strategies Growth Equity
David Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
William Hawthorne, Senior Vice President, Diversity Strategies and Legal Affairs, Macy’s, Inc.
Reverend Dr. David Jefferson, Sr., Esq., Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church and NAN Board of Directors
John Lewis, Jr., Chief, Global Diversity and Workplace Fairness, The Coca-Cola Company
John Miller, President & CEO, Denny’s
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Senior Vice President, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen
2:00 p.m. Disintegration Panel – How Do We Create One Agenda For Us All?
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire West
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Columnist, MSNBC Analyst, and Author, Disintegration Black America
Natalie Cofield, President & CEO Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce and Founder, Walker’s Legacy
Reverend Phil Craig, President, NAN Queens Chapter
Channing Hawkins, Government Relations, SEIU 721
Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
Bettie J. Sanders, Chairwoman, NAN NYC Chapter Homeless Committee
Amanda Seales, Culture Critic, Comedian
Amos Winbush, III, Founder and CEO, CyberSynchs

3:00 p.m. Conversation with Reverend Al Sharpton & Reverend Jesse Jackson:
The Civil Rights Movement From Then To Now
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
3:30 p.m. NAN/EBA Youth Hackathon
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Central Park West

3:45 p.m. Plenary Session – Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Author and Professor, Georgetown University
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net

4:00 p.m. Immigration Panel – From Executive Action to Legislation
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Empire East

*Will be live streamed at www.nationalactionnetwork.net
Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Council
Pastor Emmanuel Asse, President, NAN Chapter West Nassau County, NJ
Bertha Lewis, President & Founder, The Black Institute
Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President, Research, Advocacy & Legislation, National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, Pastor and President, Los Angeles Churches in Action
Dr. James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute (AAI)

8:00 p.m. Keepers of the Dream Dinner & Program (Invite only for attendees)
LOCATION: 2nd Floor – Metropolitan Ballroom
Cultural Award:
TV Series Empire as presented to Danny Strong, Co-Creator
Corporate Executive Award:
Gale King, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Nationwide
Entertainment Award:
Anthony Anderson
Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Social Justice Award:
Mary Liuzzo Lilleboe
Education Legacy Award:
Harold O. Levy, Executive Director, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Media Award:
Judge Greg Mathis
Humanitarian Award:
Lee Daniels, Actor, Film Producer, and Director
Labor Award:
NEA as presented to Lily Eskelsen García, President
Supportive Institution Award:
Carnegie Hall Education & Community Programs as presented to Ronald O. Perelman
Michael A. Hardy, Esq., Award for National Action Network Service:
Reverend DeVes Toon, National Field Coordinator, National Action Network

FOR THE FULL CONVENTION SCHEDULE VISIT: http://nationalactionnetwork.net/convention-2015/



Jacky Johnson
National Action Network
[email protected]