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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Honorees and presenters at the 2023 national policy alliance program and award ceremony

E. Faye Williams / October 6, 2023

During the week of the Annual Congressional Black Caucus, NPA was meeting and included many of the same people. The annual meeting of the National Policy Alliance (NPA) held its meeting, too. One of the key leaders presenting the NPA conference was World Conference of Mayors leader the Honorable Johnny Ford, former long-time Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama. Denise Tyler, NPA’s Executive Director, coordinated the meeting.

The conference dealt with numerous policy issues. Some of the issues were Supporting Black Organizations, Black Psychiatry and Psychology (And the history of anti-Blackness in the work of others), Black Lawyers for Justice, Education for Black Children, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Reclaiming Who We Are as African Descendants, Positive Aspects of Mentoring and How It Improves the Potential for Success of the Recipients, The Green Book—and how it assisted Black travelers, Health Disparities and Making the Shift to Preventive Health Care, Goals of the National Bar Association—to increase the number of African American judges at the state and national level since they have always been under-represented, Addressing the Climate Crisis, Historical Preservation of Black communities and Black Businesses.

The most riveting story to which we must pay attention was presented by attorney Malik Shabazz from Black Lawyers for Justice. In detail, he explained to us that six White police officers have now been convicted and incarcerated for a horrible crime, (including shooting one Black man in the mouth), against two innocent Black men in Rankin County Mississippi. We must know these things are still happening and not just in Mississippi, but this is the first time White men have been convicted of such a crime. The lesson is to recognize that such atrocities are still experienced throughout the nation. If Mitt Romney needs to hire private security because it’s not safe for him to speak out against evil, then it’s required that we practice as many security measures as possible.

We must work together, learn what resources are available to help us build and preserve our communities, and share that information. We must support Black businesses and if we don’t have any, organize some and support them. We must increase our time securing information on which agencies have funds to help in improving our communities —especially Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture and Energy.

The NPA is a coalition of African American local elected officials and policy-related organizations. We must remember that we are stronger together. NPA is the leadership hub of several major organizations representing African American public officials from federal, state, and local levels of government, the judiciary, school boards, and member organizations in the U.S. and internationally. NPA’s focus is to advocate policies that impact the African American community.

One key award was presented to the Honorable Rev. Jesse Jackson who received the NPA’s Medgar Evers Award. Rev. Jackson has through the years caused thousands of our people to register and vote. He also ran a most inspiring candidacy for President after Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Dick Gregory ran years ago. I received the NPA’s Charles Evers Award. I ran a campaign for Congress and did a lot of work getting Black people registered and voting, as well as inspiring numerous Black women to run for mayor in their communities, and more than 20 won shortly thereafter—including in the three largest cities. I ran in Louisiana when no Black people were running for the U.S. Congress from Louisiana. Since the time I ran and came in so close to winning (less than ½ percent), New Orleans has had Black people not only running, but the city has had a Black Congressional Member every time there was an election in New Orleans.


Dr. E. Faye Williams is president of the Dick Gregory Society and president emerita of National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (NCBW).




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