CBCF Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Honoring CBCF Founders and CBC

Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez

WASHINGTON— The 2016 Avoice Heritage Celebration kicked off the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated’s (CBCF) fortieth anniversary and the 10th anniversary of its Avoice virtual library on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The Celebration, themed “Because they serve, we soar,” honored the founders of the CBCF (Nira Hardon Long, Albert L. Nellum and former member of Congress Yvonne Brathwaite Burke) and the living African-American members of Congress serving when the CBCF was established in 1976: Representatives John Conyers, Jr.; William Clay, Sr.; Ronald V. Dellums; Charles B. Rangel; Yvonne Brathwaite Burke; Andrew Young and Harold Ford, Sr.

The Avoice Heritage Celebration supports the Avoice virtual library, an online repository chronicling the achievements of African-American members of Congress.

“We know that history belongs to those who write it, and the Avoice virtual library chronicles our legislative history for generations to come,” said R. Donahue Peebles, CBCF board chair. “It is only by recognizing those who have served us in the past that we can build a strong future, and make the American Dream a reality for all African-American men and women.”

“This year’s Avoice Heritage Celebration theme, ‘Because they serve, we soar,’ is fitting for such a landmark year,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of the CBCF. “As we reflect on the CBCF’s accomplishments over the past forty years and the breadth of the exhibits the Avoice virtual library has built in the last ten years, we are inspired all the more to forge ahead with bold, new initiatives.”

The 2016 Avoice Heritage Celebration was sponsored in part by Anheuser Busch, ExxonMobil Corporation, National Association of Broadcasters, T Mobile, National Education Association, Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurer, DCI Group and DB Bourbon Candy.


The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated, established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas. The Avoice virtual library highlights the contributions of African Americans in Congress from the 1870s to present day. Avoice is made possible through partnerships with the University of Texas at Austin, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Manuscripts Division at Howard University, and financial support from Dell Inc.

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