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EBONY JOINED BY COALITION OF AMERICA’S LEADING PASTORS TO CALL FOR RELEASE OF KWAME KILPATRICK AND DEBT FORGIVENESS FOR BLACK FARMERS AT FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

EBONY and more than 20 of the nation’s most prominent pastors, including Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas; Bishop Vashti McKenzie, presiding bishop, 10th Episcopal District, AME Church; Rev. Samuel Tolbert, president of the National Baptist Convention of America; and Evangelist Alveda King, author, and niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also in attendance will be Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

WHAT:
Press conference calling for the commutation of Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentence and debt forgiveness for thousands of black farmers.

WHEN:
Friday, July 3, 2020, 10 a.m. EDT.

WHY:
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2013. It ties the record for the longest sentence in American history for an elected official. This clear case of excessive sentencing is emblematic of the victimization of black men by the criminal justice system. Further, Mr. Kilpatrick has been identified by prison officials as being at high risk for COVID-19 and has been placed in solitary confinement.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to foreclose on the properties of thousands of black farmers despite the stipulation of a court judgment that their debts be forgiven. Approximately 7,000 farmers in the South who collectively own about 1.5 million acres stand to lose their land. Many of them were part of a 1999 lawsuit that, among other things, sought debt forgiveness.

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