WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama will be the keynote speaker during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 43rd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner. The Awards Dinner is the signature event of a four-day conference focusing on public policy impacting black communities in America and abroad. It is scheduled from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WCC).
“It is an honor and privilege to have alumni CBC member President Barack Obama address this year’s Phoenix Awards Dinner. His remarks will be a fitting culmination of the 2013 Annual Legislative Conference,” said Rep. Chaka Fattah, of Pennsylvania and CBCF’s board chair. “President Obama’s presence, together with our recognition of President Clinton for his global advocacy work will make this a historic evening for CBCF.”
“President Obama’s decision to keynote the dinner underscores the importance of our mission to expand opportunities in health, education, and economic recovery for black people around the world,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of CBCF. “This year is especially important given that we are celebrating the historic advances our country has made since the 1963 March on Washington.”
Coming on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Awards Dinner will pay tribute to the “Spirit of 1963” and the advances that the march led to in American life, from voting rights and school desegregation to Mr. Obama’s historic election to the presidency in 2008.
The dinner will honor the achievements of former President William Jefferson Clinton, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and Elaine Jones, former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The honorees will receive the Phoenix Award for their contribution to African-American political awareness and empowerment, as well as to the advancement of minorities in the electoral process.
MSNBC Television Host Tamron Hall and actor Wendell Pierce, who is best known for his work in HBO dramas, will serve as the emcees. The awards gala will feature jazz chanteuse Stephanie Jordan, who captivates audiences with what The Washington Post describes as her “intimate and thoroughly enjoyable interludes.”
“In keeping with the spirit of the march, this year’s theme, ‘It Starts With You,’ reflects the Foundation’s goal of inspiring individuals to become agents of change in their communities,” concluded Washington.