NAACP to Host Religious Leaders Summit in Atlanta, December 10-12

(Atlanta) — The NAACP begins its three-day National Religious Leaders Summit in Atlanta, Georgia today, to help move the faith community back to its long-held leadership role in matters of social justice.

“The religious community has been the backbone of the NAACP in its first 100 years, and that partnership will continue in our second century,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “We look forward to engaging faith leaders in discussion around the five Game Changer areas that will guide our social justice agenda for years to come.”

This year’s summit, themed “Moving Us Forward on the Roads to Justice,” will include a wide variety of faith traditions and congregations, representing more than 20 million congregants throughout the country. Speakers include Rev. Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors; Bishop Dennis Proctor, President , the Bishops Council, A.M.E. Zion Church; Bishop William Graves, C.M.E. Church; Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, President, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.; Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, President, Progressive National Baptist Convention; Rev. Dr. Stephen Thurston, President, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.; Rev. Patricia B. Maples, President, National Convocation of the Christian Church; Mr. James H. Salley, Black Methodist for Church Renewal; Dr. Mohamed Elsansousi, Islamic Society of North America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism; Elder Bernard C. Yates, President, Primitive National Baptist Convention, USA; Rev. Nelson B. Rivers II, NAACP Vice President for Stakeholder Relations; and Mr. John Miller, CEO of Denny’s corporation.

NAACP leaders will convene working sessions with religious leaders from diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds, including Christian, Jewish, and Islamic communities nationwide. Discussions will highlight the importance of religious leadership in HIV/AIDS outreach and creating a post-election political agenda for communities of faith.

In addition, the leaders will discuss the NAACP’s five “Game Changers,” the policy areas that the 103-year-old organization intends to pursue in the decades ahead, and develop a strategy to build upon the civic engagement work created in the lead up to the 2012 elections.

On Tuesday, December 11, the NAACP will present its Civil Rights Leadership Award to Rev. Joseph E. Lowery for his decades of work fighting for justice through preaching and living the social justice gospel. An icon of the civil rights movement, Rev. Lowery served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference between 1977 and 1997.

“The NAACP has always been guided by the faith of our members and local leaders,” said Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, NAACP Vice President for Stakeholder Relations. “That faith has helped us stand steady against impossible odds throughout our history. The Religious Leaders Summit is a time to honor the roll that faith will continue to play in our work in the years ahead.”

NAACP officials and religious leaders are available for interviews on site.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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