NEA’s Becky Pringle Honored at National Action Network Conference
By Tim Walker
We’ve come so far, but our work is far from done – that was the message National Education Association Secretary Treasurer Becky Pringle delivered to the 2013 National Action Network (NAN) conference on Wednesday. Pringle was honored by NAN as a 2013 Woman of Power for her tireless work on behalf of children, education and social justice.
NAN was founded by Reverend Al Sharpton in 1991 and is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the United States, with chapters throughout the country. NAN’s 2013 national convention in New York City this week honored the legacy of Dr. King, 45 years after Dr. King’s assassination and 50 years after the March on Washington. The convention brought together influential national leaders in activism, government, labor, business, politics, and media to discuss civil rights, education, gun-violence, immigration, jobs, health-care, and women’s rights.
Accepting her award at the Women’s Power luncheon, Pringle congratulated all in attendance for playing such key roles in advancing these causes, singling out the many women who have used their positions of influence to make a genuine and lasting difference.
“Yes, women are CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, mayors, Nobel Prize winners, Olympic gold medalists; they are running civil rights organizations, and unions,” Pringle said. “We are organizers. We are activists. We are game changers.”
In her remarks, Pringle pointed out the significant, possibly decisive, role women of color played in the last election, with 96 percent voting to re-elect President Obama.
“But despite our legacy of political power,” Pringle cautioned, “our work is not done.”
Look no further than the recent spectacle of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia actually labeling section 5 of Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement.”
“That’s right. In 2013, we’re fighting to protect our right to vote. Our work is not done.”
Moving forward, it’s critical that activists continue to stay on the frontline in the on fight for economic justice, Pringle said.
“Our current reality is that far too many access and opportunity gaps persist for our children. We can no longer afford for our children who need the most to have the least, or be diminished by low expectations and dwindling resources. We can no longer except that woman still have substandard healthcare, and economic disparities. Too many in positions of power and influence have abandoned our American values of equity and justice. Our work is not done!”
Other 2013 Women of Power honorees included Dr. Regina Benjamin, United States Surgeon General, Reverend Dr. Margaret Elaine M. Flake, Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Cookie Johnson, Owner & President of CJ by Cookie Johnson, and Debra Lee, Chairman & CEO, BET Networks.
Photo: Norman Lono