Angelique Monet

The Black Professionals News covers the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Award Dinner
speaker: President Barak Obama

The 2011 recipients of the Annual Phoenix Award as part of the 41st Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). Four distinguished individuals will receive the prestigious Phoenix Award during the fundraiser dinner: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson; Athlete, Entrepreneur & Humanitarian George Edward Foreman, Sr., Civil Rights Activist Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and U.S. Representative and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis. Each of the honorees was chosen for their tenacity and leadership in improving the human condition for African Americans.


President Barack Obama ws he keynote speaker at the Awards Dinner. In 2008, the president received the award during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. The Phoenix Awards was named to echo the statement Rep. George H. White expressed in 1901 when his departure from Congress commenced a 27-year drought of black representation in the House. In his farewell speech he said in part, “phoenix-like the (Black members of Congress) will rise up some day and come again.”


The dinner closed out the four-day ALC which is the only conference in the nation that convenes the largest gathering of policy makers, business, community stakeholders, activist and local, state, regional and national grassroots individuals, to discuss the black experience in America and to chart a course of action for the coming year.


“The Phoenix Awards is the culmination of four days of discussion and planning for the future,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, of New Jersey and chairman of the CBCF. “These are tough times for the country, particularly Black America – ALC provides an excellent forum to explore policy issues in order to plan for a better tomorrow.”


“ALC is a diverse gathering of some of the nation’s most powerful African Americans; members of Congress, the nation’s top business leaders, civic activists and young leaders,” said Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer for CBCF. “It offers one of the most visible ways in which we carry out the Foundation’s mission to develop leaders, inform policy and educate the public.”


ALC also provides more than 80 forums to address the critical challenges facing the African American community. The Foundation will offer numerous sessions to present high level, thought provoking engaging and useful information to engage African Americans in moving our communities forward.


This year’s theme, “iLlead/iServe” captures and promotes the spirit of community engagement, advocacy and positive change. The conference was held Wednesday, September 21 -24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.


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