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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Actor Danny Glover, Ohio lawmaker Nina Turner headline NAACP conference at Northern Quest

UPDATED: Sat., Sept. 14, 2019, 11:05 p.m.

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, speaks to a crowd Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, during a regional NAACP conference at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)
Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, speaks to a crowd Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, during a regional NAACP conference at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)

The actor best known for his starring role in the “Lethal Weapon” movie series joined a co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign Saturday evening at a regional NAACP conference at Northern Quest Resort & Casino.

Danny Glover, who is a longtime civil rights activist as well as an actor, attended the conference with Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, who was a Sanders surrogate in 2016. She now helps lead the Vermont senator’s 2020 campaign and an affiliated group called Our Revolution.

The conference brought together NAACP chapters from Alaska, Oregon and Washington and marked the 100th anniversary of the organization’s Spokane chapter. In his brief remarks, Glover touched on many issues, including labor rights, gentrification and inequality associated with charter schools. The 73-year-old also credited young people who have advocated for social justice.

“They’ve done incredible things over the last 110 years with the NAACP and 100 years here in this area, and this conference represents that,” he said. “But what do we do tomorrow? It is essential, in the work that we have to do, to build a real future for our children, to build a future to save humanity.”

Driving home that point, both Glover and Turner drew rounds of applause when they emphasized that human-caused climate change is the biggest threat facing the world.

Glover also referred to a woman who had previously spoken at the conference about her Coeur d’Alene Tribe heritage. That reminded him of injustices suffered by Native Americans.

“We can’t even get Congress to vote on something that is essential, that the killing of Native Americans was a holocaust,” he said, eliciting another loud response from the crowd.

The keynote speeches by Glover and Turner on Saturday night capped a day of workshops on criminal justice, civic engagement, education and economic development.

The sold-out event drew about 350 people. Elected officials in attendance included Spokane City Councilman Breean Beggs, Councilwoman Kate Burke, Spokane police Chief Craig Meidl, Democratic state Sen. Andy Billig, Republican state Rep. Jenny Graham and George Fearing, the chief justice of Washington’s Division III Court of Appeals. Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers addressed the audience in pre-recorded videos.

Two men – Nat Jackson, a fitness teacher who holds the jumprope speed record in the 72-and-older age bracket, and former state Rep. Jesse Wineberry – were given NAACP awards for promoting Initiative 1000, a ballot measure that would end Washington’s 20-year ban on affirmative action.

In her speech, Turner urged attendees to keep fighting for justice.

“The struggle is forever, so we are forever in the struggle. It is never finite when you are fighting for justice,” she said. “Each generation is charged with fighting for justice for the next generation, and the next generation, and the next generation and the next generation.

“The fight never ends because there will always be some force, as long as humankind is flawed, that will try to stop progress. And since evil never sleeps, good can never take a vacation.”

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