In his final celebration of Black History Month as President of the United States, President Barack Obama will change up his traditional meeting of Civil Right pioneers by introducing a meeting with leaders and activists that span generations for the first time ever.
Senior administrations official stated that the meeting, to occur this afternoon, will be a first-of-its-kind event hosting about 15 individuals prior to the annual White House Black History Month reception.
The list of attendees includes National Action Network’s Al Sharpton and National Urban League President Marc Morial, individuals who have always found themselves in these settings almost automatically.
This year, the expansion and inclusion of young leaders extends to the likes of Aislinn Pulley, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Chicago, Deshaunya Ware, a student leader of the University of Missouri protest group Concerned Student 1950, and DeRay McKesson, co-founder of We the Protesters and current mayoral candidate for the city of Baltimore.
Officials say President Obama is bringing the group together as a means of finding ways to work together as the President goes after criminal-justice reform and a better relationship between police and the black community.
This meeting comes just days before Democratic voters take to the polls in South Carolina, a key state for the African-American vote in the Sanders v. Clinton bid. Both candidates have been actively pulling for the Black vote in order to cinch a victory in the Southern state.
Check out the full list of slated attendees:
• Aislinn Pulley, Co-Founder and Lead Organizer with Black Lives Matter Chicago
• Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network
• Ben Crump, President of the National Bar Association
• Brittany Packnett, Member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Co-Founder of We The Protestors and Campaign Zero
• C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader and Author
• Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals
• Cornell Brooks, President of the NAACP
• Deray Mckesson, Co-Founder of We the Protestors and Campaign Zero
• Deshaunya Ware, Student Leader of Concerned Student 1950 at University of Missouri
• John Lewis, United States Representative (D-GA)
• Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League
• Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network
• Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
• Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change
• Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
• Stephen Green, National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division
• Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights