Tribute to Congressman James E. Clyburn
Opening the Vault of Opportunity
Dr. Martin Luther King, in his historic speech at the March on Washington in 1963, spoke of "the bank of justice" and "the great vaults of opportunity of this nation" declaring "We have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice".
Congressman James E. Clyburn has spent his life helping America make good on this promissory note. As a leader in the United States House of Representatives he has worked to expand opportunity and power for disenfranchised and underrepresented populations in his district in South Carolina and communities all over America. As a legislative leader he has often been the pivotal organizer shepherding critical legislation to provide affordable health care, jobs and housing.
From his humble beginnings as the son of a Pentecostal preacher, a carpenter, a public school teacher and a civil rights organizer, Jim Clyburn has stood at the crossroads of civil rights, racial justice and economic opportunity for all Americans.
As the third-ranking leader in the House of Representatives, no one is better prepared and positioned to lead our nation during these trying times when Congress must assume greater responsibility and reassert its constitutional authority, and as presidential hopefuls maneuver to better understand and connect with the hopes, aspirations and suffering of the American people.
Congressman Clyburn is one of handful of great civil rights leaders living and leading today. We salute him recognizing his outsized role in changing the face of Congress in the most recent election. We honor him as a powerful leader and our ally who will continue to pry open the American vault of opportunity until we have made real, as Dr. King said, "the promise of democracy", "to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice" and "to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood".
Please help us pay tribute to a great American by attending the Summit for Civil rights on May 2 and 3 at Rutgers Labor Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey and by joining Congressman Clyburn at our welcome reception on Thursday, May 2 at 6:00 PM where we will honor him among some of his many friends and allies. To become a sponsor of this event and the Summit for Civil Rights you can go to this page where sponsorship levels are listed.