Obama, in Philly, Calls for Transformation of Criminal Justice System


President Obama speaks Tuesday to the NAACP.

President Obama speaks Tuesday to the NAACP. (From the live video feed.)

President Obama called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system Tuesday in Philadelphia, telling the national convention of the NAACP that the current system is skewed by race and wealth.

He said more Americans had come to understand the need for reform ““partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be denied anymore.”

Obama took the stage in the main hall nearly two hours after his scheduled 3:05 p.m. appearance, and launched quickly into the meat of his speech, rattling off a list of numbers and statistics to illustrate his point that criminal justice system has grown oppressive and costly: Read more »

Obama in Philly Today for NAACP

Photo | Jeff Fusco

President Obama visited Philadelphia last fall to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.Photo | Jeff Fusco

President Obama will be in town today to address the national convention of the NAACP, where he’s expected to outline criminal justice reform proposals. He’ll also travel to The Rittenhouse Hotel for a late-afternoon meeting with senior party officials.

The president arrives at Philadelphia International Airport shortly after 2 p.m., then address the convention shortly after 3 p.m.  He’ll go to the Rittenhouse for the closed-door party meeting at 4:10 p.m., then lift off from the airport at 5:50 p.m. Read more »

Ejected Philly NAACP Leader Jerry Mondesire Feted on Eve of National Convention

Jerry Mondesire via NAACP.

Jerry Mondesire via NAACP.

The 106th NAACP National Convention is now in full swing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, with President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton scheduled to address the thousands in attendance this week. But one man who was involved in bringing the NAACP National Convention to Philadelphia is absent from the lineup of confirmed guests and speakers: Jerry Mondesire, the former head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP. Read more »

Shark Tank Casting Call in Philly This Weekend

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of ZOOM Interiors.

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover of ZOOM Interiors pitching their business on Shark Tank.

Shark Tank is one of the rare things that can take a business from great idea to household name. Now it’s producers are coming to Philly to hear pitches from entrepreneurs hoping to eventually make a deal with likes of Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.

The casting call is part of the NAACP Annual Convention that’s in town from July 11-15. (It features talks from heavy hitters like Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.) Read more »

Obama to Address NAACP in Philadelphia

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The NAACP announced Wednesday President Barack Obama will address the group’s annual conference, which is being held in Philadelphia later this month.

“We are honored to welcome President Obama back to our NAACP national convention,” NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock said in a release. “Our members are looking forward to President Obama delivering a powerful message that reinforces our commitment to being champions for civil and human rights in the 21st century.”

Obama has addressed the NAACP once before, in 2009 in New York. Read more »

Philadelphia NAACP Hosts HIV Training for Faith Leaders

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

A shocking statistic: According to The Black Church and HIV initiative, in Philadelphia, 63.3% of all people living with HIV/AIDS are African American. That’s why the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP is teaming up with Rev. Glen Spaulding of Deliverance Evangelistic Church to offer a training for faith leaders in Philadelphia this Thursday, June 18th. Read more »

Gala for NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund


The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund celebrated its 75th anniversary Thursday night with a dinner and tribute program. The honorees for the evening were four central forces in the fight for racial justice, William T. Coleman, Jr., Honorable William H. Hastie, Jr., Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., and Honorable Louis H. Pollak, whose families were on hand for the celebration, held at the Kimmel Center in the Hamilton Garden.

Photos after the jump »

Interview: Urban League’s New President Rosalyn McPherson on Regaining Relevance

Roz McPherson

Rosalyn McPherson.

Rosalyn McPherson is the new CEO of the Urban League in Philadelphia, taking over for 13-year veteran Patricia Coulter. McPherson, 61, has spent most of the last decade at the head of the Roz Group, a Center City communications firm.

She talked to Philly Mag about the organization, its need to build a broader membership, and about the need for African-American organizations to take on leadership roles in Philadelphia

You have been an Urban Leaguer longer than you have been a Philadelphian. You were with the organization in Northern Virginia before you moved here 14 years ago. So maybe you have a unique perspective on this question: How does the Urban League help make Philadelphia a better and stronger city?

I feel that a traditional organization like Urban League ensures that there is a voice for issues that affect African-Americans in particular but you know, a number of minority communities. It’s important to have those kinds of organizations with a structured, organized voice to press forward with issues that continue to challenge our communities.

Read more »

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