21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Background of the 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom

On December 3, 2012 and January 25, 2013, Marc H. Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League; Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President of the National Action Network; Benjamin Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP; and Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation convened nearly 60 of America's leading civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders in Washington, D.C.

These meetings of African American Leaders Convening (AALC) were historic and unprecedented and were the first steps in developing a public policy agenda targeting the primary challenges facing African Americans, urban communities and all low-income and working-class Americans.

The ensuing discussions and debates resulted in the identification of five urgent domestic goals for the nation:

  1. Achieve Economic Parity for African-Americans
  2. Promote Equity in Educational Opportunity
  3. Protect and Defend Voting Rights
  4. Promote a Healthier Nation by Eliminating Healthcare Disparities
  5. Achieve Comprehensive Criminal Justice System Reform

The AALC has since worked to further expand these goals to include guiding core principles and corresponding legislative policy priorities and other recommendations.

As such, the policy recommendations contained herein will serve as a working document, or action plan – to be revised, amended and updated accordingly – aimed at achieving these five goals and moving our communities toward economic empowerment, equality and prosperity.

Moving forward, additional issues of import that have not initially been reflected in these recommendations may be included. However, the current goal of this document is to develop a priority, rather than comprehensive, agenda to ensure maximum impact in the aforementioned five areas.

For more information on the African American Leaders Convening (AALC) Member and Agenda Signatories, click here.


Recent National Urban League Policies

Sep 19 2013 Broadband Adoption Gap Between Blacks and Whites is Narrowing   While the broadband adoption gap between blacks and whites is narrowing, more than one-third of African American households do not have access to broadband service. Increasingly, the key to jobs, and upward mobility, economic development and entrepreneurship opportunities lies in digital literacy... Read
Sep 18 2013 Telecommunications Through its participation in stakeholder coalitions, on federal diversity committees and other civil rights groups, the Washington Bureau works to identify solutions sector-by-sector to fit the needs of local communities and businesses and to ensure that urban communities are able to fully... Read
Sep 14 2013 Jobs and Workforce Development To achieve economic equality, the National Urban League advances policies that will close the existing racial gaps in employment, income and wealth.
Sep 13 2013 Education The National Urban League believes that educational opportunity and economic empowerment are inextricably linked. A child that receives an excellent education is better prepared to attend college, enter the workforce and contribute to society.
Sep 12 2013 Healthcare The National Urban League believes that improving health outcomes is a vital component to building economic empowerment. Through our work in health policy we seek to reach the goal that Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions.