Monday, May 16, 2016

Former NAACP head Ben Jealous to speak at Seaside Bernie Sanders rally

Ben Jealous speaks at the Panetta Institute in Monterey on April 20, 2015. (Vern Fisher - Monterey Herald)

Seaside >> Ben Jealous, the former president and CEO of the NAACP, will speak Saturday in Seaside at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, according to a post on the Sanders website.

Jealous, 43, announced his endorsement of Sanders in February. The Monterey Peninsula native will give two commencement speeches earlier Saturday at CSU Monterey Bay.

While the Sanders website lists the location of the rally as to be determined, it lists the time of the event as 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. A post on the Monterey Bay for Bernie Sanders Facebook group by page admin Natalie Gray states: "We have a Yuuggge event coming on Saturday, May 21st, at 6 PM. Venue is being locked down, but save the date. : )"

The event listing on the Sanders website states other speakers will also be featured during the rally.

Graduates from the CSUMB's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Business will listen to Jealous' speech at the 10 a.m. commencement. The 3 p.m. event featuring Jealous will honor graduates from the College of Education, the College of Health Sciences and Human Services and the College of Science. Both will be take place at Freeman Stadium on campus.

CSUMB will award Jealous, and Panetta Institute CEO Sylvia Panetta, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremonies.

Jealous endorsed Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Jimmy Panetta in the House race for retiring Rep. Sam Farr's (D-Carmel) seat in Congress. Panetta's parents are Sylvia Panetta and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Before Farr took the seat in 1993, Leon Panetta represented the Central Coast in Congress. Bill Clinton selected Panetta as his director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1993.

"Jimmy Panetta is a good man, a dedicated public servant, and leads with courage and integrity," Jealous said in a quote posted on Panetta's website. "He is committed to inclusion and will serve the Central Coast and our Country well in Congress."

Jealous, who comes from a family of civil rights crusaders, was educated locally at Ord Terrace Elementary School in Seaside, Pacific Grove Middle School and York School in Monterey. He was elected head of the NAACP in 2008 -- the youngest leader in its history -- and served for four years.

He is currently a partner at the Oakland-based Kapor Center for Social Impact, a venture capital firm whose stated focus is creating opportunities and leveling the playing field for young minorities who are interested in entering the field of information technology.

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