About The Event

This year’s conference entitled, “Why We Can’t Wait: Mobilize, Inspire, Act!” seeks to motivate attendees to resist discrimination and demand justice. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote “Why We Can’t Wait” to outline racial segregation in the United States. King said, “Just as lightning makes no sound until it strikes, the Negro Revolution generated quietly. But when it struck, the revealing flash of its power and the impact of its sincerity and fervor displayed a force of a frightening intensity. Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse, and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper. . . There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.” 

As the country begins a new era, we will no longer wait for the dream to be fulfilled. We will no longer wait for change to happen. It is time to use our voice and demand a better nation for all. Join us this year to learn how you can mobilize, inspire, and act with your communities!


Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138


Friday to Sunday
April 7 to 9, 2017

Keynote Speakers

Loretta Elizabeth Lynch is the first Black female Attorney General in US. history who served as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015 to succeed Eric Holder.
Frank Leon Roberts is a founder of the #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus movement and is the creator of BlackLivesMatterSyllabus.com, a national community organizing project that provides resources for educators on how to teach BLM in university classroom settings.
Joshua DuBois ran President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in Obama’s first term, wrote the bestselling book, The President’s Devotional, and now runs a social impact agency called Values Partnerships.

Our Mission

The Black Policy Conference is the leading policy driven forum to address the issues affecting Black communities. The conference provides an opportunity for the convergence of the world’ s greatest minds and practitioners with the hope and intent of finding sustainable solutions for issues facing Black communities.

-Enrich the dialogue at Harvard University and beyond surrounding Black issues

-Build a sustainable network among current students, alumni, faculty, and policy practitioners

-Create innovative ideas and share best practices addressing policy issues that affect Africa and the African Diaspora

-Inspire individuals to be engaged in the policymaking process

Help us continue our work at the Black Policy Conference by making a contribution today.


To donate click DONATE button, select a fund: “Other”, other fund name: “Black Policy Conference 2017”, follow instructions to process payment. Thank you for your continued support!

Alumni Awards

Michelle Thornhill is the Chief of Staff for Wells Fargo Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion and Strategic Philanthropy.
Eugene Scott is an award winning journalist for CNN Politics, covering Washington, national politics and identity politics.
Vedette R. Gavin is public health practitioner who serves as the Director of Research and Partnerships at the Conservation Law Foundation.

Don't Miss It!

Last year our tickets sold fast, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Register today! Conference will start in

Conference Schedule

Drawing together hundreds of the world's business, civic and community leaders to learn and create sustainable policies for Black communities.
  • FRIDAY - APRIL 7, 2017

  • SATURDAY - APRIL 8, 2017

  • SUNDAY - APRIL 9, 2017

  • 09:00AM - 10:30AM
    Black communities are disproportionately affected by pollution and by the increasing risks of climate change caused weather disasters. Low income communities of color have historically shouldered an unfairly large share of environmental risks and burdens, which have negatively impacted their health, quality of life, and neighborhood stability. Conversely, environmental improvements and efforts to combat climate change create spillover benefits like green jobs, access to open space, protecting vulnerable homes, and health improvements like reduced asthma. Unfortunately, those most vulnerable to climate and environmental burdens are often those least able to capture the benefits. This panel will: (1) Define environmental justice and climate justice; (2) Identify policies, organizations, and citizen actions that will not only increase sustainability's benefits, but also help ensure their equitable distribution.

  • 01:30PM - 02:00PM


Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy St
Cambridge, MA 02138