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Hundreds of officials and influential leaders are participating in an annual national convention hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, which began Wednesday morning.

The four-day conference will feature prominent names in politics, civil rights, religion, business, education and entertainment addressing issues that impact people of color with a priority on racial inequality. Topics include health care, the racial achievement gap, labor and employment, the state of the Black Church, and others.

“We often teach our children, that the only way to garner change and advance society is to eliminate discrepancies in the social order of life,” Sharpton wrote in an online statement. “When there is equality across racial and class lines, we all benefit.”

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The major highlight of the convention is a leadership forum on the concluding day, “Measuring the Movement: Black Leadership’s 12-Month Action Plan,” where leaders representing constituencies across the county will pledge a plan of action to affect change regarding these issues over a 12-month period. This event will air live on TV One, and a special hosted by Joe Scarborough will air on MSNBC.

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