Baraka Encourages African Americans to Shape Politics

Other notable attendees included Congressman Donald Payne Jr., Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, state Senator Ron Rice, Newark Deputy Mayor, Baye Adofo-Wilson, former Executive Director of the Schomburg Museum Khalil Muhammad, and many others.

According to Rice, the inaugural event only came to fruition because of the leadership of Baraka.

“No one has ever done before what we are doing today under the leadership of Mayor Ras Baraka,” Rice said. “With the help of the kind of intellectual and business-minded African Americans in a room together discussing power and politics, policy comes with that.”

While the plan is to present ideas for growth in majority minority communities to the presidential campaigns of presumptive nominees Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, Baraka says he does not necessarily expect a response.

“There has never been a president of the United States who has ever changed the trajectory of this country without being pushed in that direction,” said Baraka of the need for such a meeting. “We are not just doing this to get a reaction. We need to do this. We need to continue to push this country to be more democratic and push certain issues.”

Baraka also said that the initiative for the weekend summit was to get past the idea that only elected officials could be changemakers and, instead, encourage change at all community levels.

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