August 3, 1998The President's Initiative on Race (PIR) is an effort to move the country closer to a stronger, more just, and unified America, one that offers opportunity and fairness for all Americans. It is a chance for every citizen in our country to be a part of a great national conversation about America's racial diversity and about the strength it brings our nation. One America on the Move is one of the ways in which we inform the American public about the Initiative's progress.
PRESIDENTIAL, VICE-PRESIDENTIAL & FIRST LADY ACTIONS
- On July 16, Vice-President Gore addressed the NAACP Annual Convention, where he announced the creation of a national monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be located on the national Mall in Washington, D.C. During his remarks, he thanked the NAACP for being a force for justice, reinforced the administration's continued support of affirmative action, and committed to clearing the backlog of civil rights cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- On July 9, President Clinton participated in a one-hour dialogue on race in a special broadcast on PBS. This discussion with eight Americans included four regular contributors to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and was moderated by Jim Lehrer. The program was a round-table style conversation in which the panel discussed issues of race with the President.
- On June 13, President Clinton addressed graduates at the Portland State University commencement ceremony. He discussed how we can strengthen the bonds of our national community as we grow more racially and ethnically diverse. The President devoted special attention to the large wave of immigration currently changing the face of America.
- On June 11, President Clinton hosted approximately 20 Members of Congress at the White House to discuss the efforts of the Race Initiative and efforts similar to those of the Initiative being undertaken by Members of Congress.
- On May 28, the First Lady participated in a Team Harmony event in Washington D.C. This event brought together approximately 4,000 students from the Washington metropolitan area. The Team Harmony program seeks to promote understanding and respect for differences among young people through participation in interracial projects. It is one of the Initiative's original Promising Practices identified on our web site.
CABINET, ADVISORY BOARD & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ACTIONS
- On July 23, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater participated in the PIR's fourth regional corporate forum in St. Louis, Missouri. The forum brought together more than 100 regional corporate and business executives to discuss the economic value of diversity, ways to effectively build relationships between majority and minority-owned businesses, and best practices for fostering productive, racially diverse workplaces.
- On July 13, Dr. John Hope Franklin, Chairman of the President's Advisory Board on Race joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues concerning immigrants and race in America.
- On July 10, the PIR and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services jointly sponsored a forum in Boston, Massachusetts, to discuss issues related to race and health. Dr. David Satcher, Surgeon General of the United States and Assistant Secretary for Health, was the keynote speaker. The goal of the meeting was to convene a panel of health care experts and community leaders to identify ways of eliminating the disparities in health care that affect racial and ethnic minorities.
- On June 22, the PIR convened a meeting of religious and civil rights leaders to discuss possible ways the religious community and the White House can continue to work together on racial reconciliation. Among the topics discussed were the ways the clergy could invoke moral authority to promote racial reconciliation, efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of racial issues, and the creation of a National Day of Focus on Racial Reconciliation.
- On June 17, members of the Advisory Board participated in four subgroup meetings to discuss ideas and challenges in the areas of education, economic opportunity, leadership, values, and a vision for One America. The Advisory Board held its final official board meeting on Thursday, June 18 in Washington, D.C. to present ideas raised during the previous day's meetings.
- On June 17, PIR Executive Director Judith Winston attended the first Congressional conversation on race, co-sponsored by Representatives John Lewis and Amo Houghton. The discussion included approximately 50 members of Congress. Colin Powell gave the keynote address. This was the first of four conversations on race that Representatives Lewis and Houghton plan to host in the coming year.
UPCOMING EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
- The PSA "On Target," which the Initiative produced in conjunction with the Leadership Conference Education Fund, the Ad Council and the Griffin Bacal Advertising Agency won the 1998 Tele Award, the advertising industry's honor for best public service announcement.
- The Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service has concluded a Memorandum of Agreement with the Minority Business Technology Consortium, and the Agricultural Research Service, to make agricultural technology more readily available to minority farmers and rural communities through the local Resource Conservation and Development Councils.
- The One America Dialogue Guide, a manual to assist groups in holding constructive dialogues on race in their communities, is available. Please contact the Initiative if you would like to receive a Dialogue Guide, or you can retrieve a copy from our web site.