Mayor Karen Bass, left, accepts the CBCF Chair’s Award. (Courtesy photo)


Bass receives Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair Award at this year’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

Thousands of Black leaders, freedom fighters, social justice advocates, and elected officials on state and municipal levels convened in Washington, DC for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd Annual Legislative Conference on September 20-24, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The theme this year was, “Securing Our Democracy. Protecting Our Freedoms. Uplifting Our Culture.” Panels were led by CBC members that dealt with important issues impacting Black Americans.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was honored with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair’s Award at the CBCF flagship Phoenix Awards. While in Congress, Bass served as CBC chair from 2019 to 2021.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the CBCF Phoenix Awards gala. (Courtesy photo)

Bass accepted her award by stating, “It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Congress, but I had to because Black folk in Los Angeles are 8% of our city and 30% of the people on our streets. In Los Angeles, that’s 46,000 people who sleep on the streets every night, and every night five of them don’t wake up.”

She continued, “But CBC will always be in my heart, and even though I might not be a member of Congress, I still consider myself part of the CBC family.”

CBCF Board Chair Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL), who presented Bass with the award, added that this year’s #ALC52 conference comes at a pivotal moment where backsliding in democratic norms is gathering momentum ahead of a presidential election year.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended the GALA with Harris introducing the President.  They both honored the work of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to uphold democratic norms and institutions and chart a pathway for progress for Black Americans. The President and VP also acknowledged and warned that this work is more important than ever before in a pivotal upcoming election year.

Harris said, “As a proud former CBC member, I thank you for your partnership and your leadership. The CBC has always been the conscience of our country, a truth teller; truths about where we have been and where we must go. Tonight, let us continue to speak the truth. Across America, there is a full-on attack on many of the hard-fought, hard-won freedoms that the CBC has achieved.”

Other 2023 Phoenix Awardees included White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference Honorary Co-Chairs’ Award; House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8), recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus’s Body Award; Tennessee State Rep. Justin Jones (D-TN-52), recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Chair’s Award; and MC Lyte and LL Cool J, recipients of the 2023 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Culture Icon Award.


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