White House Includes Millennial Civil Rights Leaders in Meeting with Obama

by Lauren Victoria Burke /
US President Barack Obama walks through the Colonnade from the Oval Office on January 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address later January 12. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ImagesMANDEL NGAN / AFP - Getty Images

In a testament to the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement, President Obama will meet with a number of young millennial generation civil rights leaders at the White House today.

After the protests of late 2014 following the death of teenager Michael Brown at the hands of former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in August of that year, the growing influence of the Black Lives Matter movement resulted in forty new state laws related to policing.

A senior White House official speaking on background described the meeting this afternoon as a “first-of-its-kind” event because the President will convene leaders from different generations. A list of attendees who meet with the President in the Roosevelt Room includes younger leaders as well as legacy civil rights groups. The meeting will take place at 2 p.m. and last about an hour.

Included in the meeting with President Obama will be:

  • Aislinn Pulley, Co-Founder and Lead Organizer with Black Lives Matter Chicago
  • Brittany Packnett, Co-Founder of We The Protestors and Campaign Zero and a member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
  • Deray McKesson, Co-Founder of We the Protestors and Campaign Zero
  • Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change
  • Deshaunya Ware, Student Leader of Concerned Student 1950 at University of Missouri
  • Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals
  • Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network

There will also be young leaders from legacy groups included in the meeting such as Mary Patricia Hector, National Youth Director of the National Action Network and Carlos Clanton, President of the National Urban League Young Professionals.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will also attend the meeting with the leaders, which is likely to include a discussion on the current state of play regarding voting rights and justice reform. Another likely topic of discussion is who the President may select for the U.S. Supreme Court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Today’s meeting will be followed by a reception at the White House commemorating Black History Month. Earlier today, the National Urban League will host a meeting of historic civil rights groups with presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). That meeting will take place before the White House events at the Urban League's headquarters in Washington, D.C.