This week, BET will broadcast two Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) signature events. Viewers can watch a pre-taped airing of the National Town Hall and the Phoenix Awards for CBCF’s virtual 50th ALC on Friday, September 17 starting at 7 p.m. ET/PT, on BET and BET Her.

The ALC will conclude with a virtual Black Party hosted by DJ Spinderella via Facebook Live. The Black Party begins at 10 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on Friday, September 17 immediately following the Phoenix Awards.

The CBCF National Town Hall gathers renowned thought leaders to discuss the importance of creating a Black agenda, honoring Black voices in a democracy, and addressing the most pressing issues for the Black community today. The discussion, moderated by journalist April Ryan, includes segments on health equity, education, voting rights, and criminal justice. Panelists and speakers include Congressional Black Caucus Chair, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty; ALC 50 honorary co-chairs, U.S. Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester and Anthony Brown; President of the Black Information Network, Tony Coles; Procter & Gamble Chief Communications Officer, Damon Jones; CEO of, DeNora Getachew; and activist, author, educator, and Vice President of Social Impact at BET, Brittany Packnett Cunningham.

The annual Phoenix Awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to society. The program will feature a lineup of notable speakers and presenters including remarks by President Joseph R. Biden. A star-studded lineup of musical performances will feature: En Vogue, Leela James, Wayne Brady, Ledisi, Mali Music and Jonathan McReynolds, Stokley, Rapsody, and Chaka Khan.

This year, in the spirit of the conference theme of “Black Excellence Unparalleled: Pressing Onward in Power,” honorees have made a widespread impact in civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and health care — all with a keen focus on equity for Black communities and beyond:

Stacey Abrams, a two-time honoree, is a political leader, voting rights activist and New York Times bestselling author. She is the CBC Body awardee.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin III is an ALC Co-Chair’s awardee in recognition of his strides to diversify and bring racial equity to the United States Armed Forces.

Dr. Joan Coker is a board-certified otolaryngologist and an ALC Co-Chair’s awardee. She has saved lives with a focus on those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and other health disparities.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge is the 2021 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair’s awardee. Secretary Fudge served as U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio from 2008-2021. She was a member of several Congressional Caucuses and past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Cedric Richmond, is the 2021 CBCF Chair’s Award honoree. Richmond is former CBCF and Congressional Black Caucus chair and a dedicated public servant who represented Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 2011-2021.

The CBCF Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) is the leading policy conference on issues affecting African Americans and the global Black community. This week’s ALC, the second in a fully virtual format, has presented a unique opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the history of the 50th Anniversary of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the largest class of the CBC to date. To register for free and view more than 80 policy sessions on-demand visit:

This fall, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation will host additional opportunities to engage with their mission to advance the global Black community. CBCF will hold the in-person return of its Mervyn L. and Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Scholarship Classic on Oct. 25 at the Lake Presidential Golf Club in Upper Marlboro, Md., in support of the CBC Spouses Scholarship Fund. On November 4, the CBCF will host a virtual summit addressing the work of its National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice. To learn more about upcoming CBCF events visit:

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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