Presidential Candidate Forum on Race

The Aiken County Branch of the NAACP invite  presidential candidate representatives to take part in a Presidential Candidate Forum on Race Tuesday night. 

The Aiken County branch of the NAACP will hold a presidential candidate forum on race on Tuesday night. 

Invitations have been sent to representatives of each Democratic and Republican candidate seeking nomination to run for president, according to a news release from the local NAACP branch. 

The following candidates have agreed to send surrogates who will speak on behalf of their campaign: 

  • Corey Booker.
  • Pete Buttigieg.
  • Tulsi Gabbard.
  • Kamala Harris.
  • Bernie Sanders.
  • Andrew Yang.

The issues in the forum will relate generally to candidates' views related to civil rights and racial equality, according to the news release.

"We are very excited to provide the community to see representatives from several campaigns in one place locally and in particular to hear their views on civil rights and race," Eugene White, NAACP Aiken County branch president, said. 

Questions will pertain to how candidates' platforms relating to criminal justice reform, education policy and economic policy influence the African American and Latino communities. 

Dr. Melencia Johnson, Aiken branch first vice president and USC Aiken associate professor of sociology, will serve as the moderator of the event. 

SB Melencia Johnson 003.jpg (copy)

Dr. Melencia Johnson, a professor at USC Aiken, has found her calling in Aiken working with the Aiken Branch of the NAACP; the Links, Incorporated; and the Center for African American History, Art and Culture.

Each candidate will be asked a series of questions related to Aiken branch priorities, according to the release. 

Candidate representatives will have a two-minute opening statement, 10 minutes to answer prepared questions and questions from the audience, and a one-minute closing statement. 

The Aiken County Branch NAACP will hold its annual meeting following the meeting. 

"Our goal is to provide the local community with an early opportunity to begin to think deeply about which candidate resonates with them most," White said. "Hopefully, this forum will provide a tool for them to vote their conscious." 

Doors will open for the forum at 5:30 p.m. at the Cumberland AME Church Fellowship Hall located at 111 Kershaw St. NE. 

The forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The event is open for all to attend. 

Matthew Enfinger is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @matt_enfinger