Sharpton & Cobb will speak at HCCC summer DEI retreat

The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the keynote address at Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summer Retreat Wednesday, July 26, at 10 a.m.

Students, educators and the general public are invited to attend either in-person at the college’s Culinary Conference Center at 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, NJ, or virtually by registering at

Sharpton is the founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), a nonprofit organization that boasts more than 100 chapters across the United States and promotes a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunity for all.

In addition, he anchors “Politics Nation” on MSNBC, hosts the nationally syndicated radio shows “Keepin’ It Real” and “The Hour of Power.”

He hosts weekly action rallies and speaks out on behalf of those who have been silenced and marginalized. Sharpton has long advocated police reform and accountability, voting rights and educational equality.

HCCC President Christopher Reber said, “It is with great pride that we welcome Rev. Sharpton to HCCC. He has devoted his entire life to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion, promoting nonviolent activism, and providing a voice for those who are powerless. We know he will engage our attendees by providing historic context, thoughtful insight, and extraordinary inspiration on the issues we will explore during our retreat.”

The 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summer Retreat is presented by the HCCC President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACDEI). Jelani Cobb, dean and Henry Luce professor of journalism at Columbia Journalism School, and an award-winning writer and social justice advocate, will deliver a session called, “The Future of Equity in Higher Education,” at 2 p.m.

The remainder of the daylong convening will include sessions centered around social justice, accessibility, gender identity, equity, team building and taking stock of the college’s DEI  journey.

This is the second year the college is hosting the retreat.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.