Obama to speak at Urban League conference

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will address the National Urban League Conference on July 25 in New Orleans.

The conference by one of the nation’s oldest civil rights organizations is focused on increasing employment for African-Americans, who now face a jobless rate of 13.6 percent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than the national average.

Obama has widespread support among black voters. But the high unemployment has prompted African-American leaders in the past to appeal to Obama to resist making deep cuts to programs that benefit urban communities.

The Urban League also had extended a speaking invitation to Obama’s presidential rival, Mitt Romney. But Romney’s campaign said he has scheduling conflicts and would instead address the NAACP convention July 11 in Houston.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.