Actor Anthony Anderson and White House Correspondent April Ryan to Emcee Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 2017 Phoenix Awards Dinner


  • Marc Banks: 202.263.2812

WASHINGTON—The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) will host the Phoenix Awards Dinner during the 47th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) on September 23, 2017. Scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The Phoenix Awards Dinner is the apex of the ALC. The evening’s co-emcees will be Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor, Anthony Anderson, and White House Correspondent and political analyst, April Ryan. The signature black tie event will pay homage to African-Americans that have made substantial contributions to strengthening black communities around the world. The honorary co-chairs of this year’s conference are U.S. Representatives Robin L. Kelly (IL) and Marc Veasey (TX).

“The culminating Phoenix Awards Dinner is a special occasion that honors diligent leaders in our community and encourages other leaders to do the work necessary for the betterment of black lives around the globe,” said Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, CBCF board chair. “As we find ourselves in unparalleled times, it is critical that we come together and uplift each other through celebration and collaboration at the ALC—the Phoenix Awards Dinner aims to do just that.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D. As a highly sought after speaker, Dr. Dyson has authored and edited 18 books, appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC and countless other media outlets. Currently a professor at Georgetown University, he has taught at several notable universities across the country throughout his career.

Grammy award-winning singer, actress, television show host, and United Nations Global Ambassador Dionne Warwick will perform at the star-studded event. Dionne Warwick is the second most-charted female vocalist of all time, with 56 singles making the Billboard Hot 100. Warwick has a career spanning more than 40 years with a musical catalog including gospel, rock and roll and R&B.

“Our Honorees have proven themselves to be unwavering in their commitment to answering the call of public service, leadership and activism,” said A. Shuanise Washington, President and CEO of the CBCF. “Along with our honorees, our keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson personifies this year’s theme, ‘And Still I RISE’, through his ability to overcome obstacles, empower urban communities and raise the sentience of the black community in the United State and abroad.”

The Phoenix Award is the CBCF’s highest honor, presented to individuals whose extraordinary achievements strengthen communities and improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities, nationally and globally.

This year’s distinguished honorees are as follows:

  • Dr. Thomas Freeman will receive the CBCF Chair’s Phoenix Award in recognition of his profound influence on our nation as a legendary educator and prolific scholar, and for his long-standing commitment to improving the quality of life for black students that will leave a significant and lasting impression for generations to come.
  • Ruby Bridges Hall will receive the CBC Chair Phoenix Award for her fearless leadership and willingness to confront segregation head on in the New Orleans school system.
  • Ambassador Ron Kirk will receive the ALC Co-Chair’s Phoenix Award for his outstanding contributions to the enhancement of improved relations in foreign affairs and for his belief that trade is the strongest key to unlocking jobs and growth for the American economy and global prosperity.
  • Ms. Tamika Mallory will receive the ALC Co-Chair’s Phoenix Award in recognition of her exemplary leadership and profound impact on social justice and civil rights advocacy.
  • Congressman Bennie G. Thompson will receive the Harold Washington Phoenix Award in recognition of his immeasurable contributions to African American political awareness, empowerment and advancement of minorities in the electoral process.

The Phoenix Awards Dinner is also the primary fundraising event for the CBCF, a 501©3, nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational and research institute. This showcases the CBCF’s educational and leadership programs, and provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals who make humanitarian contributions to society. To purchase tickets to the dinner and to register for the ALC, visit



The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. The conference features 100 public policy forums on health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, and more. Signature events and features include the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts, Community Breakfast and Health Fair, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, Prayer Breakfast, Exhibit Showcase, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner.

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The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF), established in 1976, is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and educational institute, committed to advancing the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public.

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