Urban League and NAACP vow unity Minority leaders speak at a conference of 4,000

August 15, 1996|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

NEW ORLEANS -- Buoyed by the determined presence of NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and other black, Hispanic and Asian leaders, the National Urban League closed its annual conference yesterday with vows from all fronts that minorities would coalesce and get tough politically.

"I have come to New Orleans to ask that the NAACP and the Urban League rejoin together as partners," Mfume told the audience of about 4,000.

"We have to work together as we have been, and we've got to do it in a new and more energetic way, so that all those naysayers get on board, recognizing that if we choose to fight that good fight separately, that we may in fact lose the battle."

The former Maryland congressman's words came after vows to build coalitions and after diatribes against recent actions by Congress and the White House.

Mfume and National Urban League President Hugh Price have said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader's appearance was part of a promise between the nation's two strongest civil rights organizations to join forces.

Yesterday's talk of political action for minorities culminated four-day conference that has helped strengthen the Urban League's position on the black political map. The conference opened with harsh words by Price against President Clinton's promise to sign the welfare reform bill, and a vow to monitor the presidential candidates' stands on urban issues.

Indeed, the conference marked a new day for the Urban League, Price said yesterday, with the group this week accepting $1 million from the Nynex Foundation to support an advertising campaign and to bring computer training to inner cities.

Pub Date: 8/15/96

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