Dear Friends in the Movement,  
It is our sincere honor and pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 State of Black America Summit featuring the 15th Annual National Urban League Legislative Policy Conference (LPC).  Our Legislative Policy Conference is an occasion for our affiliate Presidents, Young Professionals and Guild members to receive policy updates and meet with their federal elected officials.  However, LPC 2018 will be different in two ways.
First, LPC 2018 will primarily focus on the issues of Voting and African American Voter Participation. Although all elections are important, the 2018 federal midterm elections are shaping up to be some of the most crucial in the nation’s history.  The balance of power in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House are up for grabs. As a result, focus on the African American vote is crucial. LPC 2018 participants will hear from bi-partisan voting experts at all levels who will discuss the power of the African American vote and best practices for increasing voter participation and engagement. Events will be highly charged and impactful. Times like these demand strategic planning, impactful action and collaborating with leaders on the principled issues that we support.
Second, LPC 2018 will feature 3 specially designed Tracks designed to meet the needs of all members of the Movement. The CEO Track will allow our affiliate leaders to share  local experiences and best practices and to prepare for the upcoming 2018 federal and state elections. Our Community Leaders Track will allow Young Professionals, Guild Members and community organization partners to hear from activists from across the nation on the issues of civic engagement and political participation. Finally, the newly added Small Business Leaders Track will convene entrepreneurs from the 13 NUL Entrepreneurship Centers and focus on the issues and challenges facing African American business and allow them to meet with experts in the areas of capital access, contracting and entrepreneurial education.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
LPC kicks off on the afternoon of May 8th with the release of the State of Black America (SOBA).  This year marks the 42nd Anniversary of SOBA.  It will feature the National Equality Index, the Equality Index Rankings, as well as articles and essays from a wide range of prominent authors and contributors.  After the release, there will be a Saluting the Black Caucus Reception where we will recognize and lift up the Congressional Black Caucus better known as “The Conscience of the Congress”. 
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
On Wednesday, May 9th the day will begin with a general session featuring the Nation’s preeminent civil rights leaders on the Power of the African American Vote. Thereafter there will be sessions on voter organizing and civic engagement highlighting recent elections where the black vote made the difference. Thereafter, the Empowerment Luncheon will feature several recently elected African American women Mayors. Following lunch, there will be additional impactful and engaging panel discussions, trainings and task force meetings.  Our evening will end with our Urban League Movement Champion Awards Reception, where we will honor leaders within the Urban League Movement.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Our final day will start with our Congressional Leadership Breakfast with Insight America.  The breakfast will feature Congressional leaders from both chambers and both political parties.  After breakfast, participants will attend meetings with their Senators and Representatives.  As you all know, these meetings serve as a unique opportunity to directly share both the Urban League’s national and local legislative priorities with federal lawmakers.
In the coming weeks we will provide additional information on LPC 2018.  We urge you to secure your travel and hotel arrangements right away and we look forward to greeting you in Washington, D.C.!
Don Cravins and the Washington Bureau Team