Democratic Black Caucus Of Florida’s 41st Conference Educates, Entertains, Inspires Action

Trevor Mallory
Justin J. Pearson


ORLANDO – Tennessee State Representative Justin J Pearson, the keynote Speaker at the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida’s 41st Conference spoke like fire was shut up in his bones, he was informative, energetic, inspiring, and the audience, who often  stood on their feet, showing their approval of his discourse, couldn’t get enough of him.

He spoke truth to power revealing the agendas of Republicans who continue to drink the kool-aid offered to them by former President Donald Trump, now a convicted felon, who’s seeking re-election to the highest office in the country, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

From the moment the spry, young Tennessee State Representative Pearson was moved by Jenna Lewis’ rendition of “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle, to the end of his high spirited oration with relative historical and contemporary quips, he took the audience on a journey and owned the experience.

“There would be no America without Black people… If you’re white, you can worship, too. If it hadn’t been for Black folk, you would not be where you are.  So go ahead and shout for us,” Pearson emphatically told the diverse audience.

“When we stand together, we can’t be easily broken.  Forty percent of the books banned are in Florida. Two hundred churches got together to teach Black history,” Pearson informed the audience.  “Black Lives Matter! must be resurrected because they don’t want us to say it anymore. We must resurrect our resilience.”

Representative Pearson, a member of the Tennessee Three, was expelled from Tennessee’s State House by the Republican leadership for participating in a protest for gun control after three students and three adults were shot and killed at a Nashville, Tennessee public school in 2023.  However, Representative Pearson regained his legislative seat less than a week later in a special election.

The three-day annual conference with the theme: “Democracy Will Not Die on Our Watch” attracted more than 200 people and about 25 candidates running for federal, state and local political offices in Florida. The conference, held June 7th through 9 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, included panel discussions concerning Faith Based Leadership, Black Press and Media, Black Male Voter Engagement, Candidates Extravaganza, and The State of the Caucus by President Mallory.

“Wow! What an informative, inspiring, and memorable 2024 conference,” said DBCF President Trevor Mallory.  “The conference’s format of relative panelist discussions, award presentations, candidates Extravaganza, Jenna Lewis’ rendition of “Rescue”, and finally, our keynote speaker Justin J Pearson were key factors for a successful three-day experience.”

“I want to express my heartfelt congratulations to Jill Lewis and her team for their work to make our 2024 conference one of the best we’ve ever had.  Finally, a big thank you to all of our sponsors. We could not have pulled this off without you”, President Mallory concluded.

“As a first-time attendee of the Florida Democratic Black Caucus convention, I was both impressed and inspired. I left there feeling excited and optimistic about our future, and fully committed to not allow democracy to die on my watch,” said Cheryl Mulrain.

Lake County Democratic Black Caucus President Ornetta Slaughter said, “I was impressed with the way the conference progressed throughout the 2 days. The highlight was of course Justin J. Pearson. I believe he invigorated the audience and hopefully inspired attendees into action for the 2024 election.”

“The 41st DBCF state conference was rewarding and impactful. From the dynamic keynote of Representative Justin J. Pearson, to insightful panel discussions, to seeing stalwart caucus members honored for their sweat equity & service; the conference afforded opportunities for learning, unifying and healing. Salute to President Trevor Mallory and the entire Conference Planning team,” revealed Russell Drake, former Vice President of DBCF.

“This vision was created back in December 2023. The detail and implementation, the hard work, the partnership, the committee, sponsors were all part of the bigger picture”, said Jill Lewis, DBCF’s Program and Logistics Director.

Concluding, Jill Lewis said, “This weekend we witnessed organizations across the state working intricately together; impacting and changing lives; putting aside all differences, understanding that everything is at stake! Our keynote speaker Representative Justin J. Pearson did exactly what I dreamed to happen and that was for everyone in the room, including our young people, to receive truth, wisdom, for our hearts to be pierced, our minds to be collectively on one accord, and for the mission to be won in 2024: get Joe Biden and Democrats elected up and down the ballot!”

“Saturday night’s Gala was more than impressive. Our guest speaker, one of the Tennessee Three, Rep. Justin Pearson stepped in on fire. Rep. Pearson, 29, delivered a message that kept everyone on their feet, applauding and cheering him on. He stressed the importance that ‘Democracy Will Not Die on Our Watch’,” remarked Georgia Jackson from Citrus County.

Dr. Aloma Ingram said, “This weekend was a blast of uplifting and the recharging of hope for our Democrat Party. The speakers, especially the guest speaker, left an indelible impression on the hearts of all of us who attended. He affected minds to stay steadfast in the pursuit to victory in 2024.”

“As a first time attendee, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I was a bit nervous. However, I was floored at the level of engagement, passion and support that was displayed. From the speakers to spectators, it was immediately evident that everyone was here for a major cause, to spread awareness specific to challenges Black voters face today and more importantly, how to overcome them. This experience has charged me to rise to the occasion and contribute to the movement in a major way”, Trevor Scott of the Men’s Round Table stated.

James Morton, President of Duval County Democratic Black Caucus, said, “The 41st Democratic Black Caucus of Florida convention was nothing short of extraordinary. From June 7th through the 9th, we experienced a weekend that served as a true catalyst for change. Our spirits were reinvigorated, and our mission was reignited.”

Individuals awarded were Florence Shelton-Clark, Susie Copeland, Danny Fuqua, Fran Garcia, Juanita Miles-Hamilton, Ornetta Slaughter, and Louis C. Ward. Special Awardees were Jill Lewis who received the Presidential Excellence Award and Representative Justin J. Pearson picked up the Gala Trailblazer Award