NCBCP and CAU Brought Together 150 National and State Leaders for the Inaugural Southern Organizing Leadership Convening and Official Launch of TWD, Jr. Institute

In response to the widespread attacks on our rights, freedoms & democracy, the convening brought together an intergenerational group of leaders representing civil rights, faith, labor, education, business, environmental, LGBTQ+, youth and social justice movements to strategize on countering racial, economic & systemic assaults on Black Americans and preparing for the 2024 Presidential Election Cycle in The South and nationally.

NCBCP and CAU Brought Together 150 National and State Leaders for the Inaugural Southern Organizing Leadership Convening and Official Launch of TWD, Jr. Institute
Washington, DC, June 19, 2023 --( On the heels of relentless attacks on our rights, freedoms and democracy, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and Clark Atlanta University (CAU) hosted its inaugural "Rebuild Hope, Justice, Equity & Equality" Southern Organizing Leadership Convening from May 31 to June 1, 2023, in partnership with more than 50 organizations and over 150 Black leaders and allies participated in the historic gathering. The convening was focused on formulating a robust coalition and plan of action to fight back and plan for long term power building for Black Americans in The South and nationally, including preparing for the 2024 Presidential Election Cycle.

The inaugural convening was part of the Official Opening and Launch of The NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Institute for Leadership, Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment and Social Justice (The Institute), hosted by Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of The NCBCP and Convener of the Black Women's Roundtable, and Dr. George T. French, Jr., President of Clark Atlanta University, who serve as the founders of The Institute.

The convening shed light on pressing issues and emphasized strategies for power building targeting civil rights, voting rights, reproductive rights and justice, LGBTQ+ rights, workers' rights to organize, fighting back against attacks on Black history, environmental justice, challenges faced by historically black colleges and universities and more.

The Southern Organizing Leadership Convening was co-hosted by:

● 100 Black Men of America, Incorporated
● Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation
● Alabama Black Women's Roundtable
● African American Leadership Forum
● A. Philip Randolph Institute
● Black Futures Lab
● Black Male Initiative Georgia
● Black Voters Matter
● Black Women's Roundtable (BWR)
● Black Youth Vote
● Clayton County GA BWR
● Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
● Drum Major Institute
● Family Values @ Work Action
● Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, FL BWR
● Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
● Fund for Southern Communities
● Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda/GA BWR
● Georgia Stand-UP
● HBCU Green Fund
● Hip Hop Caucus
● HIT Strategies
● Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
● Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights
● League of Women Voters US
● Louisiana Unity Coalition
● Mississippi Coalition on Black Civic Participation, MS Black Women's Roundtable
● NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF)
● National Action Network
● National African American Clergy Network
● National Black Caucus of State Legislators
● National Black Justice Coalition
● National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
● National Council of Negro Women
● National Education Association
● National Partnership for Women and Families
● National Urban League
● NoVA Coalition
● Planned Parenthood Federation of America
● Power Rising
● Service Employees International Union
● Sister Song
● Southern Christian Leadership Conference
● Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative
● The King Center
● United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
● Until Freedom
● Virginia State University, Political Science Department
● W.E.B. DuBois Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy @ CAU
● Win With Black Women
● Young Lawyers Organizing Coalition (YBLOC)

Melanie L. Campbell highlighted the urgency of the moment, stating, "In the face of pervasive attacks on our rights, freedoms, and democracy, the official opening and launch of the NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Institute and hosting of the Inaugural Southern Organizing Leadership Convening at CAU are crucial steps toward countering racial, economic and systemic assaults on Black Americans and other marginalized communities. We brought together national and state leaders from The South to organize, strategize, and plan for short and long-term solutions, including preparing for the 2024 Presidential Election Cycle that will determine if our democracy survives the rise in authoritarianism and white nationalism. Further, by uniting the ‘power of the ballot, the book, and the buck,’ we are laser-focused on rebuilding hope, justice, equity, and equality in Black America now and for future generations to not only survive but to thrive. The Institute will be hosting follow-up strategy sessions with our partners to finalize a long-term power building plan of Black America, with a special focus on The South.”

Dr. George T. French, Jr., underscored the importance of the partnership, stating, “The NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Institute Official Opening and Inaugural Southern Leadership Convening are national activities that Clark Atlanta University is proud to embrace and support as part and parcel of institutional mission and social conscience. As co-founder, I take seriously our responsibility to research and provide critical investigation, relevant data and set strategies to present accurate narratives of issues that are affecting the African American community and all communities of color. CAU is intentional, regarding reclaiming scholarly leadership within this sacred and critical space.”

The official opening and launch also included a press conference that introduced The Institute’s founding director, Getchel Caldwell II; Dr. Elsie Scott, PhD, Senior Advisor, Leadership Development, Hope & Justice Fellowship & Internship Program; Dee C. Marshall, Senior Advisor, Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Program; Joycelyn Tate, Senior Policy Advisor & Program Manager, Black Women’s Roundtable Digital Equity & Women’s Empowerment Project.

The establishment of the NCBCP TWD, Jr. Institute @ CAU was made possible thanks to the generous support of our founding sponsors who participated in the launch and opening including: AARP, AT&T, The Coca Cola Company, Comcast NBC Universal, Dr. William Pickard, Goldman Sachs, NEO Philanthropy/State Infrastructure Fund, T-Mobile and Verizon.

For photos click here:

For links to live streamed sessions, highlight videos of the press conference and convening and a full list of co-hosting organizations and speakers, please visit:

About the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). The NCBCP is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success. To learn more about the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, visit

About Clark Atlanta University: Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit

The NCBCP Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Institute at CAU and Southern Regional Office’s mission is to amplify the organization’s civics education, civic engagement, racial, voting rights, economic and social justice research, leadership development and community outreach work and the broader Black community in the Southern Region and nationally; and is a key component of the organization’s Rebuild Hope, Justice, Equity & Equality Initiatives. The NCBCP TWD, Jr. Institute is focused on youth civic leadership development, women’s empowerment, Black male initiatives, power building, entrepreneurship and community outreach and will provide fellowships, assistantships and internships annually to undergraduate and graduate students at CAU, other HBCUs and community leaders in The South, with a specific focus on voting rights, racial, economic, gender & social issues affecting Black and other communities impacted by systemic racism, inequities and injustice.
Tyrice Johnson