Saturday Morning Plenary

Saturday Morning Plenary

Session Type(s): Plenary

Starts: Saturday, Aug. 12 10:30 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Aug. 12 12:00 PM (Eastern)

One of the country’s biggest progressive champions—Sen. Elizabeth Warren—returns to Netroots Nation! Former NAACP president and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous will also speak, along with NEA Vice President Becky Pringle and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans.


Benjamin T. Jealous


Benjamin Todd Jealous is the 17th President and CEO of the NAACP. Appointed at age 35 in 2008, he is the youngest person to lead the century old organization. During his tenure, the NAACP’s online activists have swelled from 175,000 to more than 600,000; its donors have increased from 16,000 individuals per year to more than 120,000; and its membership has increased three years in a row for the first time in more than 20 years.

Jealous began his career as a community organizer in Harlem in 1991 with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund while working his way through college. In 1993, after being suspended for organizing student protests at Columbia University, he went to work as an investigative reporter for Mississippi’s frequently-firebombed Jackson Advocate newspaper.

Over past two decades, he has helped organize successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty for children, stop Mississippi’s governor from turning a public historically black university into a prison, and pass federal legislation against prison rape. His journalistic investigations have been credited with helping save the life of a white inmate who was being threatened for helping convict corrupt prison guards, free a black small farmer who was being framed for arson, and spur official investigations into law enforcement corruption.

A Rhodes Scholar, he is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford University, the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation and served as the founding director of Amnesty International’s US Human Rights Program. While at Amnesty, he authored the widely-cited report: Threat and Humiliation–Racial Profiling, Domestic Security, and Human Rights in the United States.

Becky Pringle


Becky Pringle is vice president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union and professional association for educators. A middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, Pringle has distinguished herself as a thoughtful, passionate advocate for educators and students, focusing on issues of educator empowerment and student success, diversity, and developing future leaders.

Pringle most recently served as NEA Secretary-Treasurer. A strategic thinker and leader, she was integral to the success of NEA’s work to transform the education professions and improve student learning. Most notably, she led the workgroup that produced the Association’s groundbreaking Policy Statement on Teacher Evaluation and Accountability—NEA’s first broad endorsement of the need for a student-centered, educator-led evaluation and shared accountability system.

Pringle has a long and notable record of Association advocacy at the national, state, and local levels. She began her leadership journey as a local president, and then went on to serve on the Board of Directors for NEA and the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA). She also served two terms as a member of NEA’s Executive Committee where she distinguished herself as a thoughtful and passionate advocate for the nation’s public school educators and students.

Pringle has been recognized by education and social justice organizations for her commitment to educational equity. She is a recipient of the Black Women’s Roundtable Education Innovation & Social Justice Leadership Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Woman of Power Award from the National Action Network and was named Community Woman of the Year by the American Association of University Women. The impact of her leadership is far-reaching, and includes serving as finance chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Teacher Preparation for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; and on the Institute for Educational Leadership Task Force.

Pringle received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in education from Pennsylvania State University.

Other sessions: Let Her Learn: Understanding and Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color

Elizabeth Warren


Elizabeth Warren was elected to the United States Senate from Massachusetts in 2012.

She is widely credited for the original thinking behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She led the establishment of the agency, building the structure and organization to protect consumers from financial tricks and traps hidden in mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Elizabeth served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP. Her efforts to protect taxpayers and hold Wall Street accountable won praise from both sides of the aisle.

Elizabeth was a law professor for more than 30 years, including nearly 20 years at Harvard Law School. She is the author of 10 books, including three national best-sellers: A Fighting Chance, The Two-Income Trap and All Your Worth.

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