Washington - This matter is of extreme importance to me as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, (CBCF) to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the leadership of the Foundation. I have begun the process of conducting an extensive audit of the scholarship program. As part of that audit, I have instructed every member of the Caucus, along with CBCF staff, to immediately review systems to ensure the highest degree of transparency, integrity and disclosure.
When this matter came to light, I immediately undertook measures demanding accountability and validation that members have complied with the guidelines in distributing college scholarships to students in their respective districts.
Neither the Foundation nor the CBC will allow unethical behavior in the awarding of scholarships or any programs that are designed to benefit the community. The Foundation, like most other philanthropic organizations, functions with a high level of checks and balances. Even in some of the most secured and highly respected philanthropic organizations, there are weaknesses and there are people who find a way around the system.
I will not allow the absence of integrity to invade the Foundation nor the scholarship program, of which we are proud and stand on our record of helping to educate thousands of African- American students across this nation. We are at a place and time that the process must be reviewed, upgraded, and evaluated to ensure added integrity through improved processes, increased scrutiny and certification.
Going forward, the Foundation will immediately begin to identify CBCF scholarship programs exhibiting best practices that require additional levels of certification. We have also delayed the launch of the upcoming scholarship program four months, to ensure all new measures are in place prior to the distribution of applications. There will be no self-dealing or nepotism in the awarding of college scholarships. I am confident that this audit and the resulting new processes will ensure added integrity in the scholarship program.
The scholarship program is one of the many community based programs conducted nationally by the CBCF. The mission remains to advance the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy, educating the public and developing effective programs and research to address social, economic and health disparities.
A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., (CBCF) released the following statement on the passing of human rights activist and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) made a $5 million investment in African American-owned banking institutions as part of a broader effort to increase the availability of loans for businesses and individuals in African-American communities. CBCF selected banks in four regions of the country-the North, South, East and Midwest-in an effort to achieve geographic balance in an initiative that could prove crucial in lifting the economic fortunes of black communities.
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