Remembering the Legacy of Representative Donald M. Payne Jr.

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2024

Media Contact
Yolanda Raine
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Joint statement from Representative Terri A. Sewell, Chair of the CBCF Board of Directors and Nicole Austin-Hillery, President and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, on the passing of Congressman Donald Payne Jr.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and the CBCF Board of Directors extends their deepest condolences on the passing of Representative Donald Payne Jr. Congressman Payne was a dedicated public servant, a champion for his constituents, and a staunch advocate for social justice and equality. His legacy of service will continue to inspire generations to come.

Congressman Payne was a beacon of integrity, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the betterment of his constituents and the nation at large. His advocacy knew no bounds, from his steadfast support for historically marginalized communities to his relentless pursuit of legislative solutions to address systemic inequalities, Congressman Payne embodied the spirit and substance of public service.

Since his election to Congress in 2012, Congressman Payne took on the stewardship of CBCF’s Donald M. Payne, Sr. Foreign Policy Fellowship, continuing the impactful work initiated by his father, the late Representative Donald M. Payne, Sr. 

His untimely departure leaves an indelible void not only within the hallowed halls of Congress but also in the hearts of the countless individuals he tirelessly served throughout his illustrious career. We recognize and honor Congressman Payne’s principled leadership, unwavering dedication to uplifting the voiceless, and the profound impact he has had on the CBCF and the broader community.

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, Chair of the CBCF Board of Directors, remarked, “Congressman Payne was not only a respected colleague but also a dear friend. His passion for uplifting marginalized communities and amplifying the voices of the voiceless was unparalleled. His absence will be deeply felt, but his legacy will endure through the work of those inspired by his tireless advocacy.”

Nicole Austin-Hillery, President and CEO of the CBCF, added, “Congressman Donald Payne leaves behind an indelible mark on the fabric of American politics. His unwavering commitment to civil rights, education, and economic empowerment has left a lasting impact on our nation. We mourn his passing and honor his extraordinary contributions to our community.”

In reflecting on the life and legacy of Rep. Donald Payne Jr., we also pay tribute to his father, the late Rep. Donald Payne Sr., whose pioneering spirit and trailblazing efforts paved the way for future generations of African American leaders. Rep. Payne Sr. was not only a trailblazer in Congress but also a tireless advocate for international human rights and global health issues. His legacy of service continues to inspire and guide us as we strive to build a more just and equitable society.

The CBCF and the CBCF Board of Directors offer their heartfelt condolences to Congressman Payne’s family, friends, and constituents during this difficult time. His memory will forever remain in our hearts as we strive to carry forward his vision of a more just and equitable society.


About the CBCF

Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) 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. For more information, visit

As a 501(c)(3), the CBCF takes no position on legislation or regulatory matters before Congress or any other government agency.