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"BLACK WOMEN'S ROUNDTABLE Statement on the Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court"

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Washington, DC- Following are statements from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation'S (NCBCP) Black Women's Roundtable on President Obama's announcement of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

From Melanie L. Campbell, NCBCP executive director and CEO and Black Womens Roundtable convener:

"On behalf of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Black Women's Roundtable, I would like to congratulate President Obama on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The National Coalition's 2009 theme is "Celebrating Our Sisters," and what better way to celebrate Sisterhood than to witness the appointment of a highly qualified Puerto Rican woman to the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to her impeccable credentials, her wide range of legal and judicial experience, and her reputation for being tough on the bench, Judge Sotomayor epitomizes the American dream. Her successful journey from the projects in the South Bronx to the federal bench is a clear indication that she understands the struggles of people on main street.

"Today is a proud day in American history with the nomination of the first Latino to the highest court of the United States. We are advising our members, state affiliates, constituents, friends, family and neighbors to contact their Senators urging them to move forward quickly to confirm our distinguished sister, Judge Sotomayor, to the Supreme Court."

From Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence Magazine, founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and a member of NCBCP Black Women's Roundtable:

"I am so excited for our Hispanic sisters and brothers--and for all Americans. The United States is becoming the nation it ought to be. Sonia Sotomayor's success is a shining example of what is possible for our young living in poverty and filling up prisons. When we find the courage to reshape public policies to fix failing schools, the children will succeed."

From Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, president, Skinner Leadership Institute and member of NCBCP Black Women's Roundtable:

"As an African American woman, I am extremely proud of President Obama's historic nomination of a phenomenal woman, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, as the first Latina woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only is she extraordinarily well qualified and experienced judicially, she also embodies the kind of level headed sensitivity to the pressing needs of ordinary citizens that is so critical for justices today."

From Felicia M. Davis, president, Just Environment and member NCBCP Black Women's Roundtable Atlanta:

"As long as I can remember I have longed for the appointment of an African American woman to the United States Supreme Court as the most transformational act that I could imagine. Until today it did not occur to me how much I would identify with the appointment of a woman of color from the Latino community. Remarkably, Sonia Sotomayor's story resonates as deeply as any I could imagine. I am proud to join in celebrating the nomination of such an exceptional woman and historic first. It is my hope that the confirmation process will move expeditiously with strong bi-partisan support. Women of color share in this nomination in a special way and we are confronted with a unique opportunity to rally all women in support of an eminently qualified candidate that will also bring much needed diversity to our highest court."

Founded in 1976, the NCBCP ( is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society. The current programs and initiatives of the organization include Operation Big Vote!, Black Youth Vote!, Black Women's Roundtable, Voices of the Electorate, and the Unity Civic Engagement and Voter Empowerment Campaign. The National Coalition has trained and engaged African American leaders and community activists in overcoming institutional barriers that have hindered the growth of Black communities politically, socially and economically.

The Black Women's Roundtable (BWR) is an intergenerational civic engagement network of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.

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