Standing up against gun violence rally march 21 (36622)

The National Action Network (NAN) is hosting its 15th annual National Convention on April 3 through 6 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. Issues that this year’s convention will highlight include Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, marriage equality, and the pending Trayvon Martin trial.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and NAN are calling an emergency conclave of civil rights, religious, immigration, and gay and lesbian activists, whose leaders will join government and elected to discuss strategies on what can be done to sustain these rights and movements regardless of court decisions.

Several cabinet members from the Obama administration have confirmed they will attend, along with leading members of Congress and activists such as Martin Luther King III, National Urban League President Marc Morial, NAACP President Ben Jealous, League of Latin American Citizens President Margaret Moran and others.

Both the family of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old who was fatally shot a week after performing with her high school band at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and the family of Trayvon Martin will be in attendance.

There will also be a special televised forum at the end of the convention titled “Measuring the Movement,” hosted by Sharpton, that will feature many of the aforementioned civil rights leaders and a review by some of the legends of the Civil Rights Movement regarding the progress made and mistakes made in the 50 years since the “March in Washington.” The panel includes civil rights icons the Revs. Joseph Lowery and Jesse Jackson Sr. and Otis Moss Jr., among others.

Now 45 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, the annual Keepers of the Dream Awards ceremony is set to take place during the convention on Thursday, April 4. The NAN National Convention is free and open to the public. For more information, go to