The 38th annual National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) was imbued with special glow, not just because it was held in what’s considered the “Black Mecca,” the Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the Capitol of the New South, Atlanta. National Council of Black Mayors president Robert Browser exemplified the shared excitement when he helped to facilitate the political pilgrimage of more than 250 black mayors from around the country and included an international delegation of black mayors from as far away as Africa and Europe to the Caribbean and South America.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who hosted an exclusive welcoming soiree inside City Hall on May 31, 2012, is welcoming dignitaries and prominent leaders, including Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama; Reta Jo Lewis, Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs; President Macky Sall, The Republic of Senegal; Vice President Angelino Garzon, The Republic of Colombia, Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Ambassador Neil Parsan, Trinidad & Tobago; Congressman John Conyers, John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE; Ambassador Andrew Young; and beloved Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. Also in attendance were actress Jasmine Guy, former NBA star guard Kevin Johnson, currently the mayor of Sacremento, Calif., Princeton professor Cornell West, Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell and TV personality Tavis Smiley.
The National Conference of Black Mayors annual convention continues through June 2 at the Marriott Atlanta Buckhead with appearances by venerated Congressional giants John Conyers and John Lewis and civil rights icon Rev. Joseph Lowery.
— terry shropshire