WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League (NUL), and Ben Jealous, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), met with President Obama to discuss the “nation’s unemployment crisis and offer solutions,” Morial announced in a statement.
In February 2010 Obama met with Al Sharpton, Morial, and Jealous to similarly discuss African-American joblessness, which at the time was around 15 percent. Now, with African-American unemployment at 16.1 percent, twice the level of white joblessness, the issue is arguably even more pressing.
In an official statement, Morial said that he specifically hoped to discuss what he called the “false link” between “raising the debt ceiling and reducing the deficit” which he believes will result in “unnecessary deep budget cuts to social programs.”
WATCH MORIAL DISCUSS HIS MEETING WITH OBAMA ON MSNBC:
[MSNBCMSN video=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”43855527^20^191390″ id=”msnbc5bdb37″]
Interested in policies that will foster job creation, Morial supports the Urban Jobs Act as a way to increase African-American employment. The Urban Jobs Act will “provide federal funding grant funding to non-profit organizations to offer job training, education and other support services for urban youth and young adults.”
The NAACP as well as the National Urban League (NUL) have long been discussing and searching for ways to increase the level of African-American employment. Jealous was not available for comment about today’s meeting, but one initiative the NAACP Economic Department has taken recently is the launch of the “Financial Freedom Center,” which is aimed at “enhancing the capacity of African-Americans…by financially educating individuals to effectively manage their personal finances,” as well as “monitoring financial banking practices and promoting community economic development.”
Some felt that the black civic leaders that met with President Obama in 2010 defended him more than was necessary, saying he inherited the current economic crisis from the previous administration. With “offering solutions” on Morial’s agenda, it will be interesting to see if conclusive action will result from today’s meeting.