Hip-Hop and Politics
The “Hip-Hop and Politics” panel was one of the most discussed forums during the conference. Speakers Tamika Mallory (activist); Ro James (singer); the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. (Hip-Hop Caucus); Indiana Congressman André Carson (U.S. House of Representatives); and Roland Martin (Nu Vision Media) discussed how the hip-hop generation could impact local politics and the 2020 presidential election.
Families Impacted by the Mass Incarceration Crisis
The mass incarceration crisis continues to impact families across the nation. Speakers Akeem Browder (Kalief Browder Foundation); Brittany Packnett (Pod Save the People); Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott (U.S. House of Representatives); and Torrey Smith (Players Coalition) provided insight on how legislation can help those who have relatives behind bars. “I would ask that you reach out to your senators to pass the Second Look Act of 2019,” Packnett said. “It gives elders who have experienced 10 years or more in prison and who are 50 years and older the opportunity to get a second look. When you have life without parole in federal prison, it’s a death sentence.”
Nation Building Through the Black Business Community
Black-owned businesses continue to be the largest employers of African Americans. During their panel discussion on this topic, speakers shared their thoughts on how Black-owned businesses can grow and be a driving force for the economy. Speakers included Julianne Malveaux (Economic Education); Ron Busby Sr. (U.S. Black Chambers Inc.); Henry Childs II (U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency); Alfred Edmond Jr. (Black Enterprise); and Ben Chavis (National Newspaper Publishers Association). “Black-owned newspapers tell our stories,” Busby told attendees. “We need to make sure that they have relevance and that we support and advertise with them.”