Dr. Benjamin Chavis, CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit
Action Network (HSAN), will host a lecture series to raise awareness about the
Rockefeller Drug Laws in New York.
Chavis will lead off the lecture series at Albany
State University, titled "Spitting Truth in the Face of Injustice: Raising
Public Awareness About the Negative Impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws on African
Americans and Latino Americans."
Albany, the state capitol of New York, was the
site of an intense battle between Russell Simmons, Chavis and the New York State
Commission on Lobbying.
The commission claims a rally the nonprofit hosted
was an attempt at lobbying the law and therefor illegal, because the proper
paper work was not filed to act as lobbyists.
HSAN filed a lawsuit against the commission on
the basis that the lobbying law is unconstitutional and that they were within
their constitutional rights.
On February 25th, 2004, the New York State Commission
on Lobbying voted to suspend the holding of any civil penalty hearings pending
the resolution of the lawsuit brought by the HipHop Summit Action Network.
"It is my personal belief that I and the
HipHop Summit Action Network were attacked because of political motivations
in an attempt to silence us and prevent us from continuing to address the real
issue of the injustice of the Rockefeller Drug Laws," HSAN Chairman Russell
Simmons said. "We will not relent, but will step up the pace of exposing
the devastating effects of the Rockefeller Drug Laws on our communities."
The lecture series is sponsored by The Black
Student Alliance of Albany State University and takes place at Albany State
University’s Campus Center – Ballroom on March 3 at 10:00 AM.