The Black Lives Matter protest movement received a nod from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Wednesday to host a presidential town hall focused on issues of racial justice, but officials refused to add debates to the 2016 campaign schedule, reports The Washington Post.
Leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter network Campaign Zero, along with leading activist DeRayMckesson, received letters from the DNC inviting them to coordinate and host a presidential town hall “similar to those currently being planned by some state-level Democratic parties and some liberal groups including MoveOn.org,” the report notes.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have both been vocal about the importance of addressing racial injustice in the nation.
“We believe that your organization would be an ideal host for a presidential candidate forum — where all of the Democratic candidates can showcase their ideas and policy positions that will expand opportunity for all, strengthen the middle class and address racism in America,” wrote Amy K. Dacey, chief executive officer of the DNC, in the letters which were obtained by The Post. “The DNC would be happy to help promote the event.”
The letters come one day after organizers with the #BlackLivesMatter network — an activist collective with the same name often applied to the broader protest movement — called on the DNC to sanction an additional debate themed around issues of racial justice, which was only referenced once during the CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Mckesson told the Post he has been in talks with DNC officials to coordinate a presidential town hall and has also reached out to the Republican National Committee in an effort to include GOP presidential candidates.
But Black Lives Matter organizer Elle Hearns told the Post that the umbrella group has not determined whether it will host a town hall, considering “she was still personally disappointed that the DNC will not sanction an additional debate.”
She is not the only one. “Several of the candidates as well as other prominent Democrats and liberal activists are requesting the DNC to add more forums to its schedule,” notes the report.
Click here to check out the Democrats’ debate schedule.