President Obama met with Faith and Civil Rights leaders Thursday at the White House where the group discussed issues important to the African American community. Attendees included Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Attorney Benjamin Crump of the National Bar Association and members of Black Lives Matter. Representative John Lewis and civil rights activist C.T. Vivian, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2013, also attended the meeting.
The president said the group discussed criminal justice reform, the work of grassroots organizations like Black Lives Matter, and creating a schools-to-college-to-jobs-pipeline in an effort to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. (Today, the administration launched two campaigns, in partnership with MBK, to address and eliminate chronic student absenteeism).
After their meeting with the president a few attendees met with reporters along the White House driveway. Reverend Al Sharpton of The National Action Network and Marc Morial of the National Urban League remarked on unemployment, jobs, health care and President Obama nominating a replacement for Chief Justice Antonin Scalia who died last weekend.
Said Sharpton, "We first encouraged the president to move ahead with his Supreme Court nomination and that we collectively will resist any effort by the Senate to undermine The Constitution. We see that as a civil rights violation."
The group said Congress should not wait to select a replacement.
"Congress needs to do their job", said NAACP president Cornell William Brooks.