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Whether you’re blessed with stability or struggling to make ends meet, those of us with a conscience understand that the fight for civil rights continues until all of us can live at ease. Last Saturday, we at the National Action Network (NAN) were joined by tens of thousands as we collectively marched for jobs and justice in Washington, D.C. And on Wednesday evening in New York City, key figures in the arts, entertainment and sports industries gathered with us as we honored their work and commitment to the community. From the streets to the suites, the fight for justice wages on.

During a weekend that marked the official Martin Luther King Jr. dedication in the nation’s capital, NAN conducted our annual rally and march for jobs and justice.

At a time when millions of Americans are without work, foreclosure rates are through the roof, entire families are finding themselves homeless every day, wealth disparity is expanding, unequal access to education is plaguing impoverished communities and people have all but forgotten about the poor, we assembled to ring our voices in unison. We marched for livable wages, employment equality and a level playing field just as Dr. King did decades earlier. As we recognized our progress from the emancipator to the liberator, we rallied and marched for the injustices that still remain.

While some entertainers and power players stay focused on their own advancement, others understand the significance of empowering the next generation and uplifting the people that propelled them to success. At our 2nd annual Triumph Awards, NAN recognized Tyler Perry, Judge Greg Mathis, Chris and Malaak Rock, Marva Smalls of Nickelodeon and Viacom, California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, Maurice Cox of Pepsi-Cola, Jimmie Lee Solomon of the MLB and Tina Thompson of the LA Sparks. Through their respective fields and life’s work, each one of our honorees understands the importance of creating opportunities for the traditionally marginalized and volunteering their time and energy towards helping others. It is through this notion of sacrificing for the common good that these remarkable folks and others like them continue to champion justice.

As our society evolves and momentous gains are achieved, we cannot forget to acknowledge inequities that still persist. This past week, I had the honor of addressing both the rally in Washington and our Triumph Awards in NY. As the youngest female national director of NAN, I do not take these tremendous moments lightly – for I know that I have been blessed with a great duty. Standing in unity with all those that grasp the significance of paying homage to our great leaders of the past and recognizing our modern day champions, I’m proud to watch NAN and our fearless leader Rev. Sharpton continue to take the streets to the suites – and bring everyone along in the process.

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