Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network host MLK Day public policy forum

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, January 18, 2021
Sharpton, NAN host MLK Day public policy forum
Dave Evans has more on the honoroing of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network welcomed prominent clergy, elected officials, and civil rights leaders for their Annual Martin Luther King Day Public Policy Forum to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The event followed the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and Sharpton said this year's forum sought to use Dr. King's teachings to combat hate and inequality through political advocacy.

One of the goals of the National Action Network is to use the teachings of Dr. King and apply them to the modern civil rights agenda.

ALSO READ | Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes: Remembering the civil rights leader with his own words

Among those who attended were Sen. Charles Schumer; Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Ritchie Torres; Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray; Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; and former presidential hopeful and current mayoral candidate Andrew Yang.

Schumer on Monday talked of great change that's coming to our country, but he said first the country must deal with what happened on January 6 and the attack on the Capitol.

"But they will not succeed," Schumer said. "The sun is shining and it's going to continue to shine and they and Donald Trump will be brought to justice!"

Sharpton pointed to the defeat of Trump, calling it part of MLK's dream, that justice will eventually win out.

"Trump will be sandwiched between the first Black president and the first Black female vice president," Sharpton said. "It will be like some stale meat between two slices of justice!"

As part of today's theme of great change coming, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke of police reform, a summer of protest against police violence and how that led to a brand new police discipline matrix.

"But if anyone who wears a uniform and does the wrong thing here are the penalties," de Blasio said. "They are stipulated and if they do the kind of thing that means they should not be wearing a uniform again they will be terminated."

Senator Schumer also said he dreams of an MLK day that's not sad and somber, but one full of celebration and fireworks.

He said because of the last few weeks, that day is coming closer.

The National Action Network was founded in 1991 by the Reverend Al Sharpton, and the organization works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.

LISTEN | First version of MLK's 'I Have A Dream' speech delivered in North Carolina high school gym


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