August 3, 2007
ATLANTA (AP) - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference annual convention is underway in Atlanta.
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama is scheduled to address the group Saturday, and former President Bill Clinton is expected to participate on Monday.
As a nonpartisan group, the SCLC invited all the presidential candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties to attend the convention, and also invited President Bush, who did not reply to the invitation. The Reverend Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton -- both outspoken advocates for voter education and empowerment -- are also scheduled to attend.
SCLC President Charles Steele said that issues like the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding school desegregation and the government's response to Hurricane Katrina illustrate a need for the group now more than ever before.
The civil rights group will be focusing on economic empowerment and voting rights during the convention, which comes in its 50th anniversay year.