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July 13, 2017

The National Black and Brown Elected Officials Summit


July 13, 2017 

The National Black and Brown Elected Officials Summit Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Breakthrough Elections of Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary, Indiana and Mayor Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio

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The National Black and Brown Elected Officials Summit

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Breakthrough Elections of

Mayor Richard Hatcher of Gary, Indiana and Mayor Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio

Senator Bernie Sanders Special Guest Speaker

9:30 A.M.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

at the

Rainbow PUSH Coalition National Headquarters

930 E. 50th Street

Chicago, IL


The late autumn of 1967 was the early spring of black political power in the United States.


That is when Richard G. Hatcher in Gary, Indiana and Carl B. Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio broke through the wall of racism, fear and ignorance segregating black from white to become the first African-American mayors of major U.S. cities.


Elected on the same November day 50 years ago, the two political pioneers blazed a trail for generations of black and brown politicians to follow into City Hall and beyond, including the Oval Office in Washington.


“It was a monumental breakthrough,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “We’re indebted to these two giants in a special way.”


On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the historic elections of Mayor Hatcher and Mayor Stokes will be commemorated during the National Black and Brown Elected Officials Summit at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund 46th Annual International Convention at9:30 A.M. at the coalition’s national headquarters, 930 E. 50th Street, Chicago.


Sen. Bernie Sandersthe progressive conscience of the United States Senate, will be the special guest speaker.


“Sen. Sanders,” Rev. Jackson said, “is in the linage of Hatcher and Stokes. No one has addressed the shameful economic inequality more clearly than Bernie Sanders.”


Although, Mayor Stokes died in 1996 at age 68, Mayor Hatcher, now 83, will attend the event along with the current Mayor of Gary, the Harvard-trained, former Indiana Attorney General, Karen Freeman-Wilson.


It will be a day of remembrance and celebration, but also a day to look ahead and plan the counter attack against what Rev. Jackson calls the “countercultural revolution,” sweeping the country under the Trump administration.


The day will begin at Rainbow PUSH headquarters with a Keep Hope Alive panel discussion from8 - 9:30 A.M. about the state of civil and voting rights. The discussion will be moderated by Santita Jackson, radio host, producer and television political commentator. The panelists include Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes, Attorney Terry O’Neil, National President of NOW

Rev. Mark Thompson, Sirius Radio host, Trevor Gervais, Executive Director of Common Cause/Illinois, Civil Rights Attorney Barbara Arnwine, Melissa May, Flint Water Crisis Activist, Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK, and Betty Magness, Rainbow PUSH Illinois Political Director.


The panel discussion will be followed by the summit meeting of black and brown elected officials from across the country with the goal of forging coalitions to resist attacks on voting rights, worker’s rights, immigrant’s rights, women’s rights and environmental protections.


“We are in the midst of a countercultural revolution,” said Rev. Jackson. “Everything we’ve fought for is under attack. All of our progress, all of the country’s progress over the last half century is in grave danger. But when we fight back, we win. We will fight back.”


For a complete schedule of the convention please go

















Media Contact: Don Terry

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