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Decision 2020: What to watch for at the Democratic National Convention

Behind the scenes in the control room area for the Democratic National Convention. Photo courtesy of the DNC.

Editor’s note: As national conventions begin this week in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, Baptist Press is kicking off its Decision 2020 coverage. This week and next, we will run stories laying out the convention schedules and analyzing the two parties’ platforms, as well as stories covering the major acceptance speeches and any other news that may come from the meetings in Milwaukee and Charlotte.

 MILWAUKEE (BP) — Democrats are set to nominate Joe Biden as their nominee for President this week in a convention unlike any other as the COVID-19 global pandemic has forced the group to pivot from their original plans for an on-site meeting.

Hailed as a “Convention Across America,” delegates will conduct business, cast their ballots, and adopt a platform in Milwaukee. But unlike previous conventions, there will be no mass crowds or live performances in the convention hall.

According to the DNC, “programming will include both live and curated content originating from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country.” Biden is scheduled to accept his nomination in a “largely empty hall” in the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., his home state.

Senator Kamala Harris, the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket, will also accept her nomination from Wilmington on Wednesday. While some news networks will cover different and more complete parts of the events, only the final hour each night — scheduled to begin at 10:00 PM Eastern — will be televised on network TV.

Notable speakers scheduled for the convention include:


  • Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Former First Lady Michelle Obama


  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Former President Bill Clinton
  • Jill Biden


  • Senate Elizabeth Warren
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Former President Barack Obama


  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Senator Cory Booker
  • Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden

Convention events kicked off Sunday with an interfaith welcome service that included both an imam and a Navajo medicine man. Other religious leaders are scheduled to appear throughout the week on the program. Those include:

  • Bishop Mariann Budde, Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C.
  • Gabriel Salguero, founder of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
  • Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.
  • Archbishop Elpidophoros, leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Rabbi Lauren Berkun, vice president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
  • Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
  • James Martin, a Jesuit priest
  • Imam Al-Hajj Talib ’Abdur-Rashid, leader of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in New York.

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  • BP Staff