'Civil responsibilities' agenda unveiled

March 22, 2005 at 6:20 PM

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- A coalition of African-American conservatives and activists signed a compact Tuesday in Washington, supporting "mainstream values of Black America."

The document signed by the Mayflower Compact Coalition supports faith-based initiatives, school choice, and asset and wealth building. It calls for more attention to the plight of former prisoners and their families, and includes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Phyllis Berry Myers, who coordinated the event, said the nine-point Mayflower Compact "represents the mainstream values of Black America." Myers, who served on the African Americans for Bush National Steering Committee, co-founded Black America's Political Action Committee.

The Coalition called for African Americans and others "to fulfill the expectations of those who struggled, fought and died for freedom."

The ceremony, held at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, also featured speeches by Frederick Douglass IV, the great-great grandson of the famous anti-slavery leader, and Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality.

"It is our responsibility to pick up the mantle of those who came before us," Douglass said.

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