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Nov 2, 2009

Statement on Confirmation of Regina Benjamin and Bernice King Election

Melanie L. Campbell, the executive director and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of The Black Women's Roundtable (BWR), made the following statement on behalf of BWR regarding the confirmation of Dr. Regina Benjamin as US Surgeon General and the selection of Dr. Bernice King as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC):

"What a historic day. As a woman, I am thrilled to hear of two major milestones in the nation's history. First, the unanimous confirmation by the Senate of Dr. Regina Benjamin as US Surgeon General.

"We at Black Women's Roundtable applaud our sister, Dr. Benjamin for her well-deserved appointment to US Surgeon General. Dr. Regina Benjamin's work with the Bayou La Batre Health Clinic in rural Alabama has prepared her to address the health needs of Americans in poor communities as well as the racial, ethnic, and economic health care disparities. This appointment comes just in time to help address the nation's health care crisis and ensure that all American's are able to get affordable high-quality health care.

"On behalf of the Black Women's Roundtable, I am both excited and overcome with emotion after hearing that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference selected Dr. Bernice King to lead the organization. Although it could have happened much sooner with all of the strong women working in the civil rights movement; it's quite fitting that the daughter of the organization's founder, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., emerge as the historic change the organization needs in order to effectively address the serious injustices present in what is being called a post-racial America.

I'm sure Dr. King and Coretta Scott King are together looking down on their baby girl proud that she is carrying on their legacy. Dr. King is a pastor, a motivational speaker, a lawyer with the ability to be a bridge between generations. I look forward to her fresh ideas to advance SCLC in the 21st century."

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