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Following Senate's Rejection of Reverend Al Sharpton's Request to Testify at Chancery Court Nomination Hearing, Delaware Pastors Rally with Community Members for Diversity in the State's Courts

DOVER, Del., Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, local pastors from churches across Delaware rallied alongside Citizens for a Pro-Business  Delaware outside of the Delaware Senate Executive Committee's hearing to consider Paul Fioravanti Jr.'s nomination to the Court of Chancery.

Reverend Dale Dennis II of Hoyt Memorial CME, Reverend Blaine Hackett of St. John Africa Methodist Church and Reverend Alfred S. Parker Jr., President of Methodist Ministers' Alliance gathered with residents to call for more diversity in the state's court system.

The rally came after news that civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton was denied the opportunity to testify on the issue of diversity in the state's judicial system at today's hearing. In the past several months Reverend Sharpton has visited Delaware calling for progress on the issue and penned a letter to leading law firm Skadden Arps calling for elite firms to do their part in advancing people of color in the legal industry.  

While people of color makeup over 60% Delaware's prison population, only four justices who serve on the three highest courts in Delaware are people of color. 

Said Reverend Sharpton in a separate statement released to Delaware Business Now, "To say that I am disappointed I was denied the opportunity to testify before the Delaware State Senate on the matter of [Mr. Fioravanti's] confirmation would be an understatement. Diversity transferred is not diversity created or advanced. Delaware must do better. Governor Carney and the State Legislature must do better. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue further with them,  and will not rest until we address this injustice."

Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey , "While the appointment of Tamika Montgomery-Reeves to the Supreme Court made history, Governor Carney's decision to fill her vacant seat on the Chancery court with a candidate like Mr. Fioravanti would completely undo that progress. In order to fairly represent Delaware's residents, the court system must prioritize placing more people of color on the bench. It's disappointing the Senate chose not to hear from Reverend Sharpton, whose moral credibility on issues of racial justice is beyond question, but today's rally showed just how important this issue is to countless Delawareans."

"We recognize the importance of our nominations to our highest courts," said Reverend Dennis. "We call on Delaware's Senate to consider diversity as an essential piece of justice when replacing the first African American justice that served the Chancery court. A variety of diverse voices must be a part of the discussion when deliberating on cases. When the court looks like the people that come before them, we see more fairness and justice."

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is a group made up of more than 5,000 members including employees of the global translation services company TransPerfect, as well as concerned Delaware residents, business executives and others. They formed in April of 2016 to focus on raising awareness with Delaware residents, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the issue. While their primary goal of saving the company has been accomplished, they continue their efforts to fight for more transparency in the Delaware Chancery Court. For more information on Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware or to join the cause, visit DelawareForBusiness.org.

Contact: Mary Urban, mu@adeoadvocacy.com, 410-456-2753

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SOURCE Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware