Last Sunday, several hundred beautiful Black women representing every generation gathered together in a hotel ballroom in Baltimore, decked in bold-hued suits, church hats, shift dresses and pearls for the Women in NAACP (WIN) Summit, a luncheon for ladies-only held at the NAACP’s 108th Annual Convention.
In the wake of Donald Trump declining an invitation to address the NAACP at the convention, veteran White House Correspondent April Ryan set the tone for the late morning of activism, when she used her platform to directly criticize the president for his historical absence.
“For the last 20 years, I’ve seen Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama come…it makes no sense for the highest people in the land not to come when you’ve got an urban agenda,” Ryan said drawing applause from the crowd.
Days prior, Board Chairman of the NAACP Leon Russell said in a written statement, “It’s extremely unfortunate that during these pressing and urgent times, the President has chosen to turn his back on the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization – though I must admit, his refusal to attend our convention is not totally unexpected.”
Notably, in early February, Trump and Ryan bumped heads when Ryan asked if he would include the Congressional Black Caucus in his urban agenda discussions. Trump sarcastically asked the decades-long reporter if the CBC professionals were friends of hers. The remark was widely criticized as racist, and a few months later, Ryan was told to stop shaking her head by then-press secretary Sean Spicer, drawing similar judgment.