First Lady Michelle Obama to keynote Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner

Four to receive Prestigious Awards Recognizing Contributions to America 



Washington, DC-The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner from 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 22 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The dinner concludes the Foundation’s 42nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). Mrs. Obama is scheduled to address more than 3,000 expected attendees at the evening’s event and marks the first time ever that a first lady has addressed the prestigious gathering.


      The Phoenix Award symbolizes the immortality of the human spirit and an eternal desire to reach its full potential. Four distinguished individuals will receive the prestigious award:


      U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. will receive The CBCF Chair’s Award.  The award is presented to an individual whose work and accomplishments stand as a role model for the African-American community and the African Diaspora.


      Writer, director George Lucas will receive The CBC Chair’s Award.  The award is presented to an individual who exhibits the highest standards of dedication, ability and creativity.


       Representative Corrine Brown of Florida and the first African American Mayor of Charlotte, NC, the Honorable Harvey Gantt will each receive The Harold Washington Award. The award is presented to an individual who has contributed immeasurably to African-American political awareness, empowerment and the advancement of minorities in the electoral process. 


     Recent past recipients of the award include EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson; Athlete, Entrepreneur & Humanitarian George Edward Foreman, Sr.; Civil Rights Activist Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; and U.S. Rep. and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis. 


     “We are so pleased that Mrs. Obama will serve as the keynote speaker for the awards dinner,” said Elsie L. Scott, president and chief executive officer for CBCF.  “As a former CBC Spouse, Mrs. Obama is quite familiar with our mission at the Foundation, and we are certain that her remarks will be both thought provoking, and most importantly, inspire our audience to do their part to prepare the next generation of leaders,” she said.


         ALC provides an outlet to highlight the mission of CBCF by providing dozens of forums to address the critical challenges facing the African-American community.  The town hall discussion will center on conversations about voting rights /voter identification and voter suppression. The third installation of the research report Breaking Barriers 3 will be released during ALC and further define academic success for school-aged African-American males. CBCF’s Emerging Leaders series will return along with the popular Black Party networking/awards affair. There are opportunities for attendees to engage with entrepreneurs and build wealth through the exhibit hall and author’s pavilion.  In addition, scholarship recipients in the performing arts will be recognized during the Celebration of Leadership, CBC members and spouses will come together for a community outreach project with U.S. veterans and the conference will culminate with its awards/fundraising dinner. Proceeds from ALC are used to fund educational opportunities and program outreach.


            General pre-conference discounts have been extended to September 17th. Group prayer breakfast discount registrations are available for groups of 10 or more.  To register, call (877) 585-6018 or  



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The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., was established in 1976 as a

nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the

socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities.


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