I think it is significant that, although we have people here from opposite ends of the spectrum representing various points of view—and many of us at times think that we are extremely far apart—events sometimes bring us together, events that we never expected to bring us together. All of a sudden we find out that we have a greater common interest than we thought.
What can we hope to accomplish here? Let me answer that question in this manner. There is no one here in particular who will decide what programs will take place. The whole concept of this conference is to provide a forum for exchange of ideas. This forum is to make known to this administration and to the private sector that there are people—black people—here who are competent, who are talented, who think differently, who want to examine the past; people who, if this is the case, are willing to say that some approaches have not worked and that we do need a change. And it is hoped that out of this type of forum—and there will be others to follow—we will be able to surface more of this type of leadership. Hopefully, this administration and the private sector and all the other sectors of our economy that are interested in this particular problem will begin to solicit the advice of those of us who are participating in these types of forum.
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