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CBCF Annual Legislative Conference

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) held their annual legislative conference this past week in Washington DC. The CBCF Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. The foundation compliments the Congressional Black Caucus on social issues of the African American community. This year’s theme, The Dream Still Demands, commemorated the legacy and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was killed 50 years ago. Senator Cory Booker reminded us that “the dream has been deferred’ for many of us. Attending the ALC is a committed step toward breaking barriers that African Americans face.

CBCF president and CEO, A. Shaunise Washington, stated that the goal of the ALC is to create a safe space for American Americans to have conversations about sustainable solutions for disembarked communities and pressing issues whether they be environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, gender equality and more. Other issues addressed were criminal justice reform, neighborhood policing, racial profiling, ban on fire arms, and diversity in law enforcement. While those topics are immediately connected to the social issues across the nation, other workshops offered enlightenment on technology, finance, education, women empowerment, media, health and fashion. Mayor Bowser even presented her 2018 Infant and Health Summit for Washingtonians.

Senator Kamala Harris asserted, “When Dr. King talked about the Dream it wasn’t about being asleep... It’s about being awake. Being alert... Living that dream requires us to be present, active, involved, engaged and purposeful”. She has attended the ALC conference since a college student at Howard and believes that now is a pivotal time in history. The conference has always reminded her as many others that they are not alone in the fight for social justice and reform.

The events began for over 10,000 attendees on September 12 through Saturday September 15th. Some of the most events included the Town halls, CBC Spouses Leadership in Arts, Black Party, and Prayer Breakfast, and Phoenix Awards Dinner. Political and advocacy enthusiasts from all over the country attended the workshops, panels, receptions and parties. Black Members of European Parliament event joined the occasion.

It wouldn’t be a legislative conference without talk of upcoming elections. Highlighted candidates included three African American Democratic candidates for Governor winning primaries in their respective states. (Stacy Abrams- GA, Ben Jealous- MD, and Andrew Gillum- FL.) Shaunise reiterated the importance of voting to those who have the opportunity. “I hope everyone here is registered vote for the election in November. It is our duty and our democracy depend on it. The dream still demands all of us”, she informs. During the press conference, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson spoke on the need to restore the full protection of the Voting Acts Rights, stating that voter suppression and oppression continues today.

While the Senators Corey Booker and Kamala Harris would not announce their run for 2020 election, Congresswoman and CBCF Chair Sheila Jackson Lee reassures as an advisor that their work awaits them.

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