Contact: Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 26, 2014–The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) hosted its Fifth Annual Avoice Heritage Celebration tonight at The Hamilton, 600 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. Anheuser-Busch Companies was the presenting sponsor.
The Avoice Heritage Celebration is the Foundation’s official Black History Month observance and the primary fundraiser for the Avoice Virtual Library project. This year’s theme, “Civil Rights in America,” honored the 50th anniversary of the signing of landmark civil rights legislation.
“Through Avoice, CBCF is preserving an important aspect of African-American history-and our nation’s history,” said U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, chairman of CBCF’s board of directors.” I am proud of the efforts we are making to tell the stories about African-American contributions to America’s democracy for current and future generations.”
“The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. is committed to chronicling the robust and diverse contributions of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members who helped to shape our nation’s public policies,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of CBCF. “The work of Avoice must continue, gathering legislative documents, photographs and historical letters, to ensure we portray an accurate account of African-American impact on our nation’s progress.”
Members of CBC joined White House and government officials during the Celebration, which featured an awards program honoring individuals and institutions that embody the spirit and mission of Avoice. The Foundation presented the following awards:
•CBC Member Archives Award: Rep. Eva Clayton (NC) as a former Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member who has made great strides in preserving papers for future generations and her commitment to sharing this important history with a global audience.
•Distinguished Corporation Award: Comcast NBCUniversal for its work to decrease the digital divide through its Internet Essentials program and its commitment to cultivating minority civic engagement, public discourse on African-American history and the preservation of important historic artifacts.
•Distinguished Organization Award: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library for its work in preserving documents chronicling President Johnson’s role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and in making legislative history accessible to communities nationwide.
“Receiving this award from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is especially meaningful to me given the Foundation’s rich legacy of advocating for equality and justice for all Americans, as well as its promotion of participation by informed citizens,” said Rep. Eva Clayton of North Carolina.
“We were honored to receive the Distinguished Corporation Award for Comcast’s work to promote digital literacy and applaud the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s continued focus on preserving the rich history of the contributions of African Americans at the Annual Avoice Heritage Celebration,” said David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corporation.
“President Lyndon Johnson would be honored that the LBJ Presidential Library has received the Distinguished Organization Award from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,” said Mark K. Updegrove, the LBJ library director. “President Johnson dedicated his political life to the promotion of freedom, justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity. This year, as we observe the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, we remember the words he spoke when he signed this historical bill, ‘Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole.'”
The Avoice Virtual Library also features interviews with six of the original 13 CBC founders, including Representatives John Conyers of Michigan, Charles Rangel of New York, William Clay of Missouri, Louis Stokes of Ohio, Ron Dellums of California and Delegate Walter Fauntroy of Washington, D.C. through its Avoice in Action series.