NAN’s Power Panel

Eric Holder addresses youth volence and education at annual conference.

Posted: 04/06/2011 06:49 PM EDT
U.S. Attorney General and Reverend Al Sharpton at NAN's 13th Annual Conference

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, left, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. (Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The National Action Network pulled out some political heavy-hitters at its 13th annual national conference. The audience received Queens native, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder with applause befitting a hometown hero. During his time at the podium, Holder spoke about his experiences with violence as a young man.

According to the attorney general, African-Americans make up 13% of the population but account for 15% of violent crime victims. Focusing on the disparity, Holder asked why no one is discussing the disportionate amount of African-Americans being victimized. Calling it the safety of our children our “moral duty,” Holder declared that he can’t accept an America where children are at risk in their homes and schools.

Shifting his focus to the youth and education, Holder challenged parents and the community at large to take a more active interest in the next generation.

"When you discover that Black 12th graders are reading at levels of white 8th graders. Take it personally...When a child is more interested in perfecting their jump shot than their GPA, take it personally. ”

At the conclusion of the attorney general’s speech, Reverend Al Sharpton brought 100 kids from the audience to take a photo with Holder.

"We make Scarface a role model,” said Sharpton, “let's make the attorney general a hero."

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