21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom

Background of the 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom

On December 3, 2012 and January 25, 2013, Marc H. Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League; Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President of the National Action Network; Benjamin Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP; and Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation convened nearly 60 of America's leading civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders in Washington, D.C.

These meetings of African American Leaders Convening (AALC) were historic and unprecedented and were the first steps in developing a public policy agenda targeting the primary challenges facing African Americans, urban communities and all low-income and working-class Americans.

The ensuing discussions and debates resulted in the identification of five urgent domestic goals for the nation:

  1. Achieve Economic Parity for African-Americans
  2. Promote Equity in Educational Opportunity
  3. Protect and Defend Voting Rights
  4. Promote a Healthier Nation by Eliminating Healthcare Disparities
  5. Achieve Comprehensive Criminal Justice System Reform

The AALC has since worked to further expand these goals to include guiding core principles and corresponding legislative policy priorities and other recommendations.

As such, the policy recommendations contained herein will serve as a working document, or action plan – to be revised, amended and updated accordingly – aimed at achieving these five goals and moving our communities toward economic empowerment, equality and prosperity.

Moving forward, additional issues of import that have not initially been reflected in these recommendations may be included. However, the current goal of this document is to develop a priority, rather than comprehensive, agenda to ensure maximum impact in the aforementioned five areas.

For more information on the African American Leaders Convening (AALC) Member and Agenda Signatories, click here.