Top Reparations Advocate, Providence NAACP President Jim Vincent to Speak at PuLSE Conference on Economy, Equity and Energy September 15

Jim Vincent, a respected national civil rights activist is set to deliver a keynote address at The PuLSE Institute’s upcoming National Conference on the Economy, Equity and Energy, which is being held on Thursday, September 15, from 8:00 a.m. – to 12:00 noon.

The theme for the virtual conference is, “Building Towards An Equitable Economy That Works for the Poor,” and it will examine what needs to be done by policy makers, business leaders and the racial justice community to support poor and disenfranchised communities that are being left behind in the new coronavirus economy. Registration for the conference is now open for interested participants to do so on Eventbrite.

Vincent, who is the president of the Providence Branch of the NAACP, where his efforts are leading to serious discussions around reparations for Black enslavement, will speak about the need to keep the quest for reparatory justice at the forefront of the nation’s push for economic parity as well as the need for major institutions in the nation to address racial justice. Vincent was recently named to the 13-member Providence Municipal Reparations Commission, a historic initiative which is being closely watched around the country. The commission was created by Rhode Island Mayor Jorge Elorza after the completion of a study that documented the horrors of the institution of slavery.

In light of how marginalized and disenfranchised communities have been adversely impacted by the pandemic, the conference will also focus attention on the linkages between unemployment and poverty as well as how decent and well-paying jobs are out of the reach of low-wage workers.

“As the president of the Rhode Island NAACP Branch, I am thrilled to participate in The PuLSE Institute’s annual conference which promises to be one of the most important conferences of the year tackling the persistent issues of poverty, the environment, housing, health and education disparities and the racial wealth gap,” Vincent said. “The PuLSE Institute is an important national organization which provides a very credible venue for us to have meaningful conversations with diverse stakeholders in pushing the envelope to achieve equity for the Black community.”

Other prominent speakers announced earlier include industry captain Jerry Norcia, the Chairman, President and CEO of DTE Energy, a Fortune 500 company, who will deliver a keynote address at the start of the conference. Norcia is among major business leaders who have been invited to participate at the conference.

“Jim Vincent is a committed, action-oriented leader who has proven that he is not afraid to challenge civic and political leadership to meet the demands of racial justice. His leadership in bringing the necessary issue of reparations to the forefront of the political order in Rhode Island is commendable and should be replicated by every NAACP Branch in the country,” said Attorney Tina M. Patterson, the President and Director of Research at The PuLSE Institute. “We are honored to have him speak at The PuLSE National Conference on the Economy, Equity and Energy, and  we look forward to his contributions on how to advance racial justice in this endeavor.”

Bankole Thompson, the distinguished Black journalist, author and cultural critic, whose longstanding, illuminating and influential work on race, democracy and poverty inspired the founding of The PuLSE Institute four years ago, said participants will benefit greatly from Vincent’s presence at the conference.

“For years Jim Vincent has been at the forefront of the equal justice battle in this country and in particular in Rhode Island, where he has demonstrated what courageous civil rights leadership should look like in the modern era,” Thompson said. “Whether it is forcing government to be more inclusive or insisting on major universities to step up to the plate and stop dragging their feet on racial justice issues, Jim has been a force to reckon with.”

Thompson, who is a twice-a-week opinion columnist at The Detroit News, and the host of a daily two-hour urban affairs radio program, REDLINE which airs Monday-Friday, 11am-1pm on 910AM Super Station-Detroit added, “We are glad that Jim will be a part of our conference because those attending need to hear it from the people that are on the frontlines of the battle for social justice.”

The PuLSE Institute is at the center of the poverty debate with a high profile speaker forum that convenes leaders from various industries to speak on the issues of the day. Previous speakers include Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who presided over the successful and historic prosecution in the George Floyd murder trial, Dr. Natalia Kanem, the United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNFPA, former U.S. Ambassador Anne Derse, Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey, United States Bankruptcy Judge Mark Randon and others. 

The Institute’s National Advisory Panel is made up of civil rights luminaries, anti-poverty champions and humanitarians of the last half century including Sister Simone Campbell, who recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

More speakers about the fall conference will be announced in the coming weeks. For inquiries about the conference email

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