The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) held a Faith Leaders Summit on Wednesday in conjunction with the Conference of National Black Churches during its Annual Consultation.
Hundreds of the nation’s leading African American Church leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss major voting rights issues facing the Black community.
Attorney General Eric Holder gave the keynote address, and voting rights experts led discussions of the complexities of new state voting laws, said Emanuel Cleaver, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman.
“The attack on voting rights is not only coordinated, it is dangerous and it is the worst we’ve seen since Jim Crow. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called voting the ‘foundation stone for political action.’ The laws restricting access significantly chip away from that stone,” he said.
“Given the immense challenge before us, the CBC has decided to take this matter into our own hands and this time we are working with the Black Church, which has diligently served our community for over 200 years fighting for freedom, justice, and equality when African Americans had nowhere else to turn.”
As the economy still struggles to recover and overall unemployment hovers around 8 percent and reaches into the double digits for African Americans leaders cannot idly stand by and watch as the rights are stripped from hurting people. As elected officials–whether local, state, or federal–it is our obligation to not only encourage our constituents to vote, but to ensure the voting process is easy, according to the CBC
The National Conference of Black Churches is comprised of nine denominations that represent congregations all over the country, with an estimated reach of over 10 million. Membership includes: African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel Baptist Church International, National Baptist Convention Inc, International, The National Baptist Convention USA, Inc, The National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, and the Progressive National Convention, Inc.
During the summit the event was open to all faiths and denominations.