Holder, Trayvon Martin's mom to speak in Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will speak in Philadelphia at the National Urban League's annual conference, which will focus on civil rights, voting rights and job creation.

The four-day event, which begins Wednesday, comes less than a month after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and not long after the man who shot Martin was acquitted in the racially charged case.

The league is one of the nation's oldest civil rights organizations. The conference, titled "Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America," is expected to attract about 6,000 people and also focus on strengthening economic opportunities for African-Americans, CEO Marc Morial said.

Holder will talk Thursday about the high court's controversial ruling, which threw out a provision requiring all or parts of 15 states with histories of voting discrimination _ mainly in the South_ to get federal approval before changing the way they hold elections.

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, will speak Friday. She supports Holder's decision to investigate whether her son's killer, George Zimmerman, could be charged under federal civil rights laws. A jury acquitted Zimmerman in Martin's death, finding that he acted in self-defense.

In both discussions, "what we're hoping they will produce is certainly more knowledge, more information and more mobilization around the issues of voting rights and also justice," said Philadelphia Urban League President Patricia Coulter.

Participants will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which protested racial discrimination, and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves to be free.

A copy of the historic document, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, will be on display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia beginning Wednesday. It will remain on view through Sept. 22.


Follow Kathy Matheson at http://www.twitter.com/kmatheson

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Workers In Danger?
    A state investigation found the 520 bridge contractor committed serious safety violations

  • Police Hackathon
    The Seattle Police Department is holding its first-ever hackathon with 35 tech experts
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.