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Black Caucus Convenes Next Week

POSTED: September 19, 2008, 12:00 am

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The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is set to convene its Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) next Wednesday, September 24 in Washington, DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The CBCF is the not-for-profit policy arm of the 43 Black Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, formally known as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The current chairwoman of the Caucus is Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick (D-MI). The conference runs through Sunday and will feature Issue Forums and Braintrusts led by Caucus Members, workshops, and several high profile social events, including a prayer breakfast and star-studded gala. Co-chairing this year’s ALC is Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fl) and Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY).

The ALC is the largest annual Black political gathering in the nation. Some 20,000 constituents, policy experts, community leaders, organization heads, media representatives, elected officials and clergy are expected to be in attendance. The event has grown from its humble beginnings almost forty years ago from a well attended political gathering held in the Washington Hilton to a major policy conference that consumes the cavernous convention center in the nation’s capital. It attracts Blacks from all corners of the country and serves as an opportunity for CBC members to connect to their constituents.

This year’s ALC takes on added significance since it will be held against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential election and the historic candidacy of CBC member Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), the Democratic Party candidate. It marks the first time a member of the Congressional Black Caucus is the standard bearer of one of the major political parties in a presidential campaign. The conference also takes place as the nation wrestles with an economic crisis that has disproportionately impacted Black Americans, many of whom have been the victim of risky balloon mortgages, credit card debt, and unemployment. The event also comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases data showing the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS in the Black community and the degree to which young, gay Black men and Back women are the primary carriers of the disease.

The conference will kick off Wednesday with a press conference led by the ALC co-chairs and Dr. Elsie Scott, the president of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Sessions Wednesday will focus on promoting academic success among African American males, heart disease in the Black community, and post-civil rights Black leadership. All of the sessions will take place in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

NSnewstv.com will be on site and provide continuing coverage of the 2008 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference.

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