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Black leadership conference to be held in Claxton this weekend
Michael Thurmond - photo by Special
Weekend agenda

    Noon luncheon — Claxton Veterans Community Center, 902 West Main Street, Claxton.
    7 p.m. reception for GABEO and GCBM – Entertainment, R&B band, “Spitz” — Evans County Recreation Center (Neder Center) 11093 Highway 280 West, Claxton.
    Registration — 8 a.m. — Evans County Recreation Center (Neder Center), 11093 Highway 280 West, Claxton,.
    9 a.m.  — Opening Plenary Session: “Stopping the Violence, Saving Our Children, Ending the Carnage.”
    12:30 p.m. —  Annual “Get Out the Vote” luncheon. Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Michael Thurmond, Commissioner of Labor, Author and Historian.
    7 p.m.  — GABEO & GCBM Cookout at the Evans County Recreation Center, Barbeque (Neder Center), fun and fellowship

    11 a.m. Closeout Worship Service – Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Senator Charles Steele, International President/CEO SCLC
St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. John Leggett, Pastor
317 North Grady St., Claxton.
    Welcome: Councilman Robert Benjamin, City of Claxton
    Gospel Music: Evans County Community Choir and the Savannah State University Gospel Choir. Dinner will be served after service.
    The  Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials conference will be held in Claxton  Oct. 24-26, featuring Georgia Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond and Charles Steele Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as keynote speakers.
    The Georgia Conference of Black Mayors will also be in town for its annual meeting, held in conjunction with the GABEO event, said Willie Burns, mayor of Washington, Ga. and president of the GCBM.
    Mayors from several Georgia cities will meet to discuss issues pertaining to all Georgia communities incuding property  taxes, Burns said, adding that he sees the conference as an opportunity to share information and hopes that everyone learns something from the event.
    The conference opens Friday, Oct. 24 with a noon luncheon at the Veterans Community Center. A reception will be held at 7 p.m. at the Evans County Recreation Center.
    Saturday, Oct. 25, registration for main sessions will be at 8 a.m., followed by the opening plenary session at 9 a.m. in the Neder Center at the Recreation Department. Rev. Rhea Posey, executive director of the Personal Growth Institute in Atlanta will lead a program entitled “Stopping the Violence, Saving Our Children, Ending the Carnage.”
    Families to welcomed to bring their children to this session. “Violence is an epidemic that permeates every society and something must be done to stop the escalation,” Burns said.     
    At 12:30 p.m., the ‘Get Out the Vote” luncheon kicks off with Thurmond delivering the keynote address. In addition to being state commissioner of labor, Thurman is also an author and historian who served in the Georgia General Assembly prior to being elected as labor commissioner. He created the Workfirst program, which helped welfare-dependant families move into the workforce.
    A cookout will close the day at 7 p.m.
    Charles Steele Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will deliver the keynote address during Sunday’s 11 a.m. closing worship service  at  at St. John Missionary Baptist Church.
    “This is a big thing for Claxton and Evans County,” said Claxton  City Councilman Jerome Woody, event planner.
    For more informatio contact Rep. Tyrone Brooks, 404-656-6372(office) or 404-372-1894 (cell) or e-mailto, contact Mayor Willie Burns, GCBM, 706-678-3277  or 770-331-6488 .
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