During this, the 40th anniversary year of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we, a diverse, nonpartisan, intergenerational coalition of African-American groups and individuals, have come together so that our voices will be clearly heard.
Our community has a great stake in this presidential election, and issues that we are most concerned about must be addressed.
We share with all Americans a call for the prompt ending of the war in Iraq, universal health care, access to quality education, affordable housing free from predatory lenders, quality jobs and economic stability.
Our particular domestic and global priorities include: re-creating a high-wage economy, transforming underserved schools, increasing funding for historically Black colleges and universities, restoring communities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, reconstructing a Supreme Court committed to justice for all, sustaining strong enforcement of civil rights laws and rebuilding urban and rural infrastructures.
We also call for expanding HIV/AIDS research, the recognition of workers' rights to organize, entrepreneurial opportunity, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, the reduction of disproportionately high incarceration rates, and support for the growth and development of Caribbean and African nations.
These are critical human rights issues. Our churches have been our moral foundation and prophetic witness for justice and equality since slavery, holding up a mirror on areas where the nation falls short of these virtues. We strongly uphold the right to religious freedom of expression as reflected in our churches and other faith institutions.
Our unpaid labor, creativity, blood, sweat and tears helped build America. Today, we seek to work with Americans of all faiths, races and ethnic backgrounds to heal long-standing wounds in our nation. Let us all join together to realize Dr. King's vision of social, racial and economic justice for all—for the love of our children and for future generations.
Dr. Maya Angelou, Julian Bond, Donna Brazile, Joe D. Briggs, Diallo Brooks, Clayola Brown, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Al Dotson, Thomas W. Dortch Jr., Dr. Gerald Durley, Danny Glover, Dennis Hayes, Esq., Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Oscar Joyner, Dr. Maulana Karenga Martin Luther King, III
Rev. Edward V. Leftwich, Bishop Eddie Long, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Terry McMillan, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Marc Morial, Prof. Charles Ogletree,
Ruby Pulliam, Dr. Lois A. Rice
Lillie Robinson, Stanley Savage
Dr. Elsie Scott, Rev. Al Sharpton
Prof. Beverly Guy-Shefthall
Lena Sherrod, Dr. Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, April Silver,
Bev Smith, Dr. Jane E. Smith, Hon. Calvin Smyre, J. Bradley Starks, Dr. Charles Steele, Vincent Sylvain, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Susan L. Taylor
Jordan Thierry, Rev. Regena Thomas, Phil Thompson
Cicely Tyson, Iyanla Vanzant
Dr. Ronald Walters, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Hon. Andrew Young
and dozens of others from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.