The National Urban League held its annual conference in New Orleans last week. The conference highlighted several issues affecting the Black community and brought out heavy hitters, including President Barack Obama.

The nation’s largest civil rights and social justice conference attracted thousands of the nation’s most influential community leaders, together with top policy-makers, academicians, business leaders and artists for three days, from July 25 to July 28, of discussion, intellectual exchange and community service.

This year’s theme was “Occupy the Vote: Employment and Education Empower the Nation,” focusing on being politically involved in an effort to improve conditions.

Obama spoke on the first day of the conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The president spoke about several issues during his speech, including education, employment and the economy. He also discussed his re-election campaign.

“For nearly a century, the National Urban League has been inspiring people of every race and every religion and every walk of life to reach for the dream that lies at the heart of our founding: the promise that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you came from, no matter how modest your beginnings, no matter what the circumstances of your birth, here in America, you can make it if you try,” Obama said.

President of the National Urban League and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial gave his State of the Urban League Address the following day. In his speech, he discussed the Urban League’s continuing work in communities, the lasting fight for civil rights, Jim Crow-style tactics being used in the current election and the need for Blacks to vote.

Morial also discussed the Urban League campaign partnering with Howard University called “Occupy the Vote.” The 100-day countdown has three components to get Black people registered to vote: an online voter education center, telephone hotline and an on-the-ground grassroots effort.

“We at the National Urban League do not endorse candidates, but we endorse democracy. We do not endorse political parties, but we endorse ideas,” Morial said in his speech. “We cannot and will not stand by while our hard-fought constitutional rights are decimated, trampled, diminished and marginalized.”

Also at the convention, attendees were treated to a career and networking fair. The fair featured Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations and representatives from across industries. Attendees learned how to improve their social media profiles and access the latest digital tools. Students at the convention also attended a college fair.

Several notable speakers at the conference included Jesse Jackson, Donna Brazile, Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Trayvon Martin case, Dr. Jeffery Gardere and actress Kim Fields.