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Black America in the Obama Era

Tuesday February 2009

This February, Black History Month will take on special significance following the inauguration of Barack Obama. The Obama presidency provides a unique chance first, to celebrate the achievements of African Americans, and second, to highlight meaningful policy reform proposals addressing the problems relevant to them.

Despite the gains of the last decades, the African-American community continues to face a 70 percent illegitimacy rate, a growing educational achievement gap, and an overwhelming rate of recidivism among black men who have served prison sentences. As the first African-American president, Obama has the opportunity to serve as a role model for the black community and to initiate reforms aimed at closing the educational achievement gap, reducing the number of black men incarcerated, and ending the cycle of poverty.

Please join us to hear three African-American leaders offer their insights on the potential impact of the Obama administration on the black community and provide their policy prescriptions for the future of urban reform. Our panelists will address three important issues facing the administration and black America: prisoner re-entry, the black family, and education.


8:00 AM Registration
8:30 AM Introduction
John McWhorter, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
8:45 AM Panel Discussion
The Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey
Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake, Pastor, The Greater Allen
Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone
Moderator: John McWhorter, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute