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National Action Network Annual Convention Begins This Week









Rev. Al Sharpton

Mariah Carey

Wyclef Jean

Gabourey Sidibe

Regina King

Bill Cosby

Jeff Zucker

Busta Rhymes

Miri Ben-Ari

The Roots

Tamron Hall, MSNBC


What: The Keepers of the Dream Awards

Where: Sheraton Hotel and Towers, 811 7th Avenue (52nd and 7th Avenue).

When:  Thursday, April 15th, Red Carpet Press check in 5:45 p.m. (52nd and 7th Avenue).

Awards Program - 7:00 p.m.-10 p.m.


Reverend Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN) will host the12th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards Thursday, April 15th at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The awards, given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, honor those who have continued to advocate for the principles for which Dr. King gave his life. The Keepers of the Dream awards are given by members of the civil rights community who have committed themselves to fairness and racial harmony.

The evening will be hosted by Tamron Hall from MSNBC and the Keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Bill Cosby. Among this year's honorees are: Mariah Carey, world renowned entertainer; Wyclef Jean, humanitarian and internationally acclaimed musician; Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal; Bishop Charles E. Blake from the Church of God and Christ; Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President Morehouse College; Actress Gabourey Sidibe, Kimberly B. Davis, President JPMorganChase Foundation; Johnny Furr, Jr., Anheuser-Busch; The Home Depot; and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players' Association. 

This year's event will include special appearances by the legendary music group the Roots and Grammy-award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari who will perform her single "Symphony of Brotherhood, featuring the Dream speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.--the first instrumental single ever to hit on Billboards R&B/Hip Hop charts, MTV and VH1. Ben-Ari will also receive a special Community Service Award by Reverend Al Sharpton.

The first annual Keepers of the Dream Awards Gala was held by National Action Network (NAN) in 1999 and was hosted by Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Dr. King .This year's annual Keepers of the Dream Awards Gala will be held during National Action Network's National Convention on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at The Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers from 7-11 p.m. Previous honorees include Denzel Washington, Sean Diddy Combs, James Brown, Attorney Johnnie Cochran, Robin Roberts (GMA), Cicely Tyson, Larry King, Myrlie Evers Williams, Earl Graves, Sr., Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, Lyor Cohen, Terrie Williams, Congressman Jose Serrano, Russell Simmons, Geraldo Rivera, Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone Magazine, among others.


National Action Network is one of the leading Civil Rights organizations in the nation with over 45 chapters around the country. NAN works extensively to promote a modern Civil Rights agenda which includes one standard of decency for all people, social justice for all communities, and the improvement of race relations. Through the years NAN has served as a megaphone for the voiceless and an advocate for those in need. We have taken on issues relating to voter registration, education, and political enfranchisement.



The Keepers of the Dream Award are held in conjunction with NAN's annual convention.





9:00 am – 10:30 am                             Health Care Policy Discussion

                                                                Is the Cost of Health Care Killing Us?

Moderator: Errol Louis- Columnist, New York Daily News

Harold Ford- Chairman, Democratic Leadership Council

                                                                Katie Robbins- National Organizer, Healthcare-Now!

                                                                Clyde E. Williams, Jr.- Political Director, Democratic National Committee

                                                                Sanford A. Rubenstein, Esq.- Partner, Rubenstein & Rynecki

Dr. Betsy McCaughey- Patient Advocate, Founder, Committee to Reduce Infectious Deaths

Dr. Lisa Ross- Anesthesiologist, St. Vincent’s Hospital

10:00 am- 4:00 pm                              Resource Center and Job Fair


10:30 am – 12:00 noon                       Health Care Treatment

                                                                Developing and Sustaining a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body

                                                                Host: Tony Wafford- Organizer, “I Choose Life”, National Action Network

                                                                Moderator: Ivy McGregor- Director of Partnerships, PennGood & Associates

                                                                Jo Valentine, MSW- Chief, Syphilis Elimination & STD Disparities Unit

M. Monica Sweeney, MD- MPH, City of New York,

 Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

C. Virginia Fields- President/CEO, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS

Adrienne T. White- Sr. Manager, Corporate Affairs Constituent Relations,

African American Market, Wal- Mart Stores, Inc.

Robert Bailey II, MPH- Project Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- ACT Against AIDS

Dr. Marsha E. Butler- VP/ Global Professional Relations and Marketing, Colgate Palmolive

Joseph Sellman- Chairman, HIV/AIDS Awareness Committee, NYC Chapter, National Action Network

Tangela D. Richardson - Project Team Leader, HIV/AIDS Campaign, Social Security Administration, Office of Communications External Affairs


11:00 am - 12:00 noon                        Special Plenary Session:

US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius


12:00 noon- 1:30 pm                           Disaster Strikes: How Best to Organize RELIEF?

Moderator: Dr. Ron Daniels- President, Haiti Support Project

Michael T. Maurer- Director of Disaster Training & Exercises, American Red Cross of Greater New York

Bill de Blasio- Public Advocate, New York City

Dr. Jean Claude Compas- MD., Family Practice Physician

Matheiu Eugene, New York City Councilmember

Dr. Joe Leonard, Ph.D.- Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rose Jackson Flenorl- Manager of Social Responsibility, FedEx Corporation

James “Rocky” Robinson, Jr.- Founder, Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Brooklyn, New York







2:00 pm - 3:30 pm                               Are People of Color Covered Fairly In The Media?

                                                                Moderator: Rachel Noerdlinger- President, Noerdlinger Media

Special Address: Bill O’Reilly- O’Reilly Factor


Ed Schultz- MSNBC

George Curry- The Curry Report

Elinor Tatum- Publisher, New York Amsterdam News

Alfred C. Liggins III- Chairman, TV One/ CEO, Radio One

Fred Mwangaguhunga- Founder,

Jonathan Capehart- Washington Post Editorial Board

Elizabeth Benjamin- Columnist, NY Daily News

Danny Bakewell- President, National Newspaper Publishers Association


3:30 pm- 4:30 pm                                Special Plenary Session:

                  Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael S. Steele


4:00 pm- 5:30 pm                                                Madison Avenue Initiative

Future Media & Marketing Moguls Discuss Equality, Opportunity and Respect by the General Market

Host: Don Coleman, Chairman & CEO, Globalhue / Vice Chairman, NAN Board of Directors

Moderator: Munson Steed- Director, Madison Avenue Initiative, NAN


Hiram Jackson- CEO, Real Time, Inc.

Tariq Muhammad- VP, AOL Black Voices

Ervin Lee- MillerCoors


4:30 pm- 6:00 pm                                                The New Vision of Young Professionals: Its Our Turn

                                                                Host: Tamika D. Mallory- National Executive Director, National Action Network

Moderator: Karen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize- winning Journalist and Hunter College Professor


                                                                Marcus Jadotte- Managing Director, Public Affairs, NASCAR

Chris Collins- Signature Model, Ralph Lauren

Kelli Coleman- VP, New Business Development, GlobalHue

Dr. Farrah Gray- CEO, Farrah Gray Publishing

Iasha Rivers, Director of External Affairs, Macy’s

Ahmad Islam- Founding and Managing Partner, Common Ground, Chicago, IL

Paris Dennard- Senior Field Representative, Republican National Committee Coalitions

Glynda Carr- Executive Director, Education Voters

Brian Benjamin- President & Founder, Young Professionals United For Change




6:00 pm                                                 Executive Director’s Reception (By Invitation)

                                                                Tamika D. Mallory, National Executive Director, National Action Network

                                                                Co-Hosts: Andre Harrell & Veronica Webb





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