Washington, D.C. – Ahead of a critical presidential election year, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) opened with a call to action to unite over the next four days, in a shared vision and strategy that will catalyze policy changes for progress and equity, advance the global Black community, and safeguard our democracy and freedoms within it.
Against a backdrop of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down affirmative action programs, and DEI initiatives stalling across Corporate America, this year’s ALC – and its theme, Securing Our Democracy. Protecting Our Freedoms. Uplifting Our Culture. – takes on even greater significance, with a full agenda that includes a National Town Hall on Safeguarding the Truth and Protecting Our Democracy, and panels focused on conserving a democratic future.
Nicole Austin-Hillery, President and CEO of CBCF, said, “With a pivotal presidential election ahead of us, it is more important than ever for us to come together at ALC to chart a path toward progress that is both meaningful and long lasting. It is vital that we all engage and do what we can, alongside legislators and policymakers, to fortify our democracy, protect fundamental freedoms, and celebrate the richness and vibrancy of our cultural heritage.”
This year, #ALC52 is being presented by Amazon, which has provided $1.5 million to support the renowned Washington, DC, convening and its popular signature events: Community Breakfast and Health Fair; National Town Hall; Gospel Extravaganza; Day of Healing; and the Phoenix Awards. Amazon also affirmed its steadfast support of CBCF’s mission to educate and empower future Black leaders through the creation of a new HBCU scholarship.
Brian Kenner, Amazon’s Head of Community Engagement said, “Our country is at its best when we are working toward a more just and equitable society for every American. Scholarships are an important way of removing prohibitive financial barriers that can prevent some of our most promising young people from realizing their full potential. Amazon is proud to partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation not only on scholarship provision, but in propelling young leaders, advancing meaningful dialogue and inciting positive change.”
This year, ALC honorary co-chairs, Rep. Stacey Plaskett and Sen. Raphael Warnock, are leading an agenda that takes in a broad array of topics of importance to Black America and the global Black community, including racial bias in both AI and medicine, improving equity in transportation, and passing the Momnibus.
Rep. Plaskett said, “Previous presidential elections have shown us just how precious the democratic process is in America. This year’s ALC will give us the opportunity to explore transformative dialogue and actionable solutions that can potentially shape and brighten our nation’s future.”
Sen. Warnock said, “This is a moral moment for our country, and this year’s ALC is taking place at a critical time in which we are literally seeing the democratic principles underpinning our nation under attack. This convening is an important call to action for CBCF’s network of thinkers, changemakers, organizers, activists, strategists and community members who are doing the work to secure our freedoms and the blessings of our democracy for future generations.”