WASHINGTON - On May 25, Canada’s Parliamentary Black Caucus and five leaders of the United States of America’s Legacy Civil Rights Organizations convened in a historic meeting on the grounds of Howard University.
A delegation of seven Black Parliamentarians met with Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Shavon Arline-Bradley, PhD., president and CEO of the National Council of Negro Women.
The Canadian delegation includes Sen. Rosemary Moodie and Michael Coteau, co-chairs of the caucus, as well as Sen. Bernadette Clement, Greg Fergus, Sen. Amina Gerba, Matthew Green and Sen. Marie-Françoise Mégie.
“Let me express gratitude to Howard University, to the Canadian Parliamentary Black Caucus, also to my colleagues in civil rights, and to all of the visiting delegation for what has been an enlightening, educational, and encouraging conversation. The importance of today is for us to see this as the beginning. The beginning of a conversation, collaboration and the beginning of friendship, as we truly unite the Black diaspora here in the western hemisphere around shared interests and to confront shared challenges,” said Morial.
Discussions were held on campus in the historic Douglass Hall. The leaders focused on the role of public officials in fostering civic engagement and opportunities for transborder partnerships between Canadian and American groups. The leaders also marked the third anniversary of George Floyd’s murder with a moment of silence.
“It has certainly been my honor and my pleasure for the University community to host the members of the Parliamentary Black Caucus of Canada and the leaders of some of the most historic civil rights organizations in the United States,” said Anthony K. Wutoh, PhD., provost and chief academic officer of Howard University.
“The GDP contribution of African Americans is almost equal to the GDP of Canada as whole. There is a huge opportunity for us to look for ways to leverage that spend power, the academic success, and the success we have in many different fields to not only help our community but to help build our countries and this continent. There is a huge influence here that we can work with in America and through the diaspora to benefit each country and our communities as a whole. There's lots of work to be done and this is just the beginning,” said Coteau.
Brittany Bailer; firstname.lastname@example.org
Niambé Tomlinson, National Urban League; email@example.com
Joshua Dadjo, Dir. of Parliamentary Affairs; firstname.lastname@example.org