Dr. Marc Lamont Hill lit up the “State of Black Florida Luncheon” in the Tallahassee Civic Center Ballroom in the presence of a standing room only crowd of members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, Black Greek Sorority and Fraternity members, statewide Black business owners, NAACP civil rights leaders, Florida Democratic Black Caucus leadership, Black Chambers of Commerce, organizers of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, university educators, and college students. Hill is respected as one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the United States. He covered issues such as politics, culture, and education; appearing on CNN, National Public Radio, in addition to hosting BET News and HuffPost Live.
Dr. Hill brought a fiery message of Black organizational civic engagement that he feels is necessary in order to address the critical issues which disproportionally impact our communities. This was music to the ears of the Pensacola and Escambia County representatives of the Coalition for Justice of Northwest Florida in attendance at the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators 2014 Annual Legislative Summit in Tallahassee. Hill’s message tied directly into the theme for the event which was “A Call to Action: Refocus, Reconnect and Recommit”! According to representatives of the Coalition, Dr. Hill’s speech complimented the goals and objectives of the Coalition for Justice’s efforts in Pensacola and Northwest Florida.
This annual event brings together Florida’s Black community along with experts and leaders from across the state and nation. This year’s gathering focused on the constant attacks on Black youth, families, businesses, and communities across the state. The goal of the summit was to develop strategies that would define common ground to actively organize around protecting Black community values and elevate the impact of our collective voices.
Jerry McIntosh, 2nd Vice President of Movement for Change and Public Relations Spokesperson for the Coalition for Justice and Carol McIntosh, President of Progressive Black Women Coalition and Executive Secretary of the Coalition for Justice spearheaded the local delegation from Pensacola and Escambia County. Sarah Burnett, 1st Vice President of the Progressive Black Women Coalition, and Tony McCray, Jr., President of Tony McCray and Associates and Economic Development Director of IBIS Partners were also in attendance. Other Coalition members of the local delegation included local labor union organizer, Marcel Tucker and Social Media Entrepreneur, Charles Thornton, who recently launched “Community Awareness” a locally produced internet public issues and civic engagement talk show. Jerry McIntosh co-produces the program with Thornton. The Coalition members of the delegation promoted the show to the statewide leadership at the summit to become viewers of the locally produced internet program.
Other events included the Saving Our Communities Rally on the steps of the FSU Law School, Summit Policy Breakout Sessions, a Legislative Reception presented by the Pittman Law Group and Office of Parks and Crump, a Business Expo & Health Fair, a National Conference on Education, and the always well attended 21st Annual Gala at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center.