African American Ministers Convene to Address the State of Black America

WASHINGTON – The African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) and African Americans Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) convene today at the National Education Association headquarters for a two-day conference in which they will address issues of poverty and race in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the future of the Supreme Court, and civil rights. These influential ministers from around the country will gather to discuss the millions of African Americans who are left behind.

AAMLC and AAMIA currently have members in 20 states and the District of Columbia, all community leaders and advocates for progressive public policies at the local, state and federal level. This year’s conference is being hosted by the NEA, and the massive private school voucher proposed by the Bush Administration for Katrina victims will be among the items discussed.

“We will do our prophetic duty, mobilize our people, and sound the alarm on the issues brought to the forefront by Hurricane Katrina that Congress is moving to address – the very issues that we see daily in our communities and churches,” said Rev. Timothy McDonald, chair of AAMIA and Pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta. “Katrina showed the world that issues of poverty and discrimination persist in America. We must seize this opportunity to forge new policies, and resist policies that would lead to even greater harm.”

AAMLC is launching a new youth ministry as well, led by Jeff Johnson, Director of African American Outreach for People For the American Way Foundation.

“The ministers are working to bridge the gap between generations, and support the next generation of young African-American leaders in the faith community,” said Johnson, who is known as the host and producer of BET’s “The Jeff Johnson Chronicles.” “The success of any sustained political progress relies on the energy and vision of young people. We’re creating an opportunity for young people of faith to use that faith as the catalyst for social justice activism.”

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