Newark, NJ Mayor Ras Baraka and BK Nation’s Kevin Powell Announce

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Updated: April 13, 2015
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Monday, April 13, 2015,

(BASN Newswire)-NEW YORK CITY—Deeply concerned by the state of America, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras Baraka and BK Nation’s Kevin Powell are convening BK Nation: A National Conference on Leadership, Ideas, & Action Steps, Thursday, October 8-Saturday, October 10, 2015, in Downtown Newark, in partnership with Rutgers University and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Says Powell, “We are calling for a people’s movement in America, one that is progressive, multicultural, and inclusive of every citizen and every community that desires real change. bk5

This is why Mayor Baraka and I are asking leaders, educators, organizers, producers, innovators, doers, and influencers in politics and activism, technology and social media, the arts and entertainment, sports, the faith communities, the health, wellness, and fitness arena, and corporate America to come to Newark for this national gathering of America’s best minds, especially the younger generations: Generation X and the millennials.

We will assemble, United Nations-style, not just to talk, but to exchange ideas and models of success, and action steps that are working and needed in local communities across America. We aim to build and create a 21st century brand of social change, where the people come first and their voices are heard.”

Says Mayor Baraka: “The entire city of Newark is privileged and honored to host the BK Nation national conference.

The decision to bring this important 3-day event to Newark is recognition of our groundbreaking initiatives and intense work to fundamentally transform our community. This conference will unite leaders and activists from across the nation to find solutions to the chronic and acute problems and crises that we face as a people and society, in a vast range of fields. It will also put a spotlight on the programs we have created—our Town Halls, our Model Neighborhood Initiative, our Centers of Hope, which are setting a standard and example for the entire nation.

bk64With unity and love, with compassion and commitment, this conference will put forward the agenda and solutions we need to transform America into a nation we can all believe in.”

As America nears the end of the Obama era and a new presidential election in 2016 it has become clear that there is much to do to create freedom, justice, and equality for all people.

In spite of President Obama’s historic victory in 2008 with the help of a progressive and multicultural army, there remains, in our America, deep racial divisions and violence, violence against women and girls and gender inequities, and discrimination against people because of their faith or religious beliefs, their ability or disability, their sexual identities, and because they are poor or otherwise struggling to make it financially.

Thought leaders of all stripes have been particularly alarmed by the explosion of conflict between police and communities, by the number of Black males who’ve been shot and killed by law enforcement, by the ever-growing prison-industrial complex, by the reckless disregard for our environment, for food justice for every community, by the many health disparities, by the random use of guns that have decimated both impoverished inner cities and affluent suburbs.

The national gathering will be free but each participant must register and cover their own expenses around travel, food, and lodging. The conference will conclude with a cultural festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Saturday evening, Oct. 10th, featuring live music, live visual art, dance, short films, fashion displays, comedy, dramatic monologues, and poetry. Otherwise the entire conference will be held at Rutgers University, the Newark campus.

To learn more about the conference please visit: www.bknation.org/nationalconference
Please note the conference will feature a livestream and live tweets throughout the 3 days.

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