WASHINGTON—The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) announced that President Barack Obama will serve as the keynote speaker for the 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
“We welcome President Barack Obama’s participation in the Phoenix Awards Dinner, particularly at this critical time for African Americans,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “As a former member of the CBC, and throughout his presidency, Mr. Obama has taken action to rectify the civil and social injustices experienced by black Americans. We deeply value Mr. Obama’s commitment to our mission to eliminate disparities in underserved communities.”
The CBCF also announced the full list of 2015 Phoenix Awards honorees.
Rev. Dr. William Barber, II will be honored with the CBC Chair’s Award. Barber was instrumental in the release of the Wilmington Ten, and has been a pillar of the national grassroots movement for justice for two decades. Rev. Dr. Barber continues to lead the fight for voter rights in North Carolina, health care reform, worker rights, immigrant rights, and reparation for women survivors of Eugenics.
Fred Gray will be honored with the ALC Co-Chair’s Award. Gray is best known as the first civil rights attorney for Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the civil rights movement, Gray’s legal work laid the groundwork for challenging racial discrimination in voting, housing, education, jury service, farm subsidies, medicine, and the judicial system.
Civil rights activist Juanita Abernathy will receive the George Thomas “Mickey” Leland Award. Abernathy is the widow of Rev. Ralph Abernathy. She helped to organize and lead the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott in her home state of Alabama from 1955 to 1956. Abernathy continues to advance her husband’s legacy through lectures and service to civic and religious organizations.
Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson will be honored posthumously with the Harold Washington Award. Dr. Boynton Robinson was one of the organizers of the Bloody Sunday march to Montgomery, Alabama. The photo of her beaten unconscious at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge circulated around the world. In March, at the age of 103, she commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches by crossing the bridge hand-in-hand with President Obama.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated will receive the CBCF Chair’s Award for its leadership efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Alpha Phi Alpha, of which Dr. King was a member, is also being recognized for its national programs to mentor black children and mobilize minority voters.
Proceeds from the Phoenix Awards Dinner benefit the CBCF’s many programs and initiatives. To purchase tickets and register for the ALC, visit cbcfinc.org/alc.