The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, currently led by President and CEO Nicole Austin-Hillery (left), will host the 52nd Annual Legislative Conference Sept. 20 - 24. The conference has a theme of “securing our democracy, protecting our freedoms and uplifting our culture.” More than 10,000 people are expected to attend to listen in on panel discussions, learn about the Black legislative agenda, network and fellowship. Grammy-award winning artist Karen Clark-Sheard will also make an appearance as a special guest during "A Day of Healing" on Sept. 23, along with Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart. (Photos courtesy of and Facebook / Karen Clark-Sheard)

By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,

It’s almost time for the 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF).

“It is essential that we come together to address the threats to our democracy and protect the hard-fought freedoms we cherish,” said Nicole Austin-Hillery, president of CBCF, in a statement. “The Annual Legislative Conference provides a platform to examine these issues comprehensively, foster dialogue, and identify actionable solutions.”

Over 10,000 Black movers and shakers gather yearly for the ALC.

This year’s theme is “securing our democracy, protecting our freedoms and uplifting our culture.”

“As we confront the multifaceted challenges of our time, the Annual Legislative Conference empowers us to uplift and amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Together, we can build a future that honors the principles of justice, equality, and inclusion,” said Rep. Terri A. Sewell, chair of the CBCF Board of Directors, in a statement.

The annual conference will run from Sept. 20 through the 24th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Each year contains fun celebrations, concerts, information sessions, interactive forums and networking opportunities on social justice, economic empowerment, health care, education and policy.

On Sept. 20, there will be a roundtable on the “Power of the Ballot: We Won’t Be Erased,”  a “Block Party” and a Divine 9 town hall hosted by Rep. Joyce Beatty. There will also be a session about leveraging the power of Black women’s leadership to get more Black voters to the polls and a forum on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enormously impact the economy and daily life. 

Join more than 10,000 Black legislators, leaders and citizens across the U.S. for the 52nd Annual Legislative Black Caucus where “securing our democracy, protecting our freedoms and uplifting our culture” is the priority. (Photo courtesy of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation)

Sept. 21 will bring opportunities to talk about how the African-American community can strengthen democracy against voter suppression, censorship and intense political polarization, reducing maternal mortality and recent victories in gun safety. The day will end with a Gospel Extravaganza from 8 to 10 p.m.

On day three, Sept. 22, a brain trust will be hosted by Rep. Gwen Moore. The session aims to discuss the disproportionate issue of family separation due to child welfare investigations and how Black families can heal from the trauma. There will also be a session about redesigning public safety and the RAP Act, which could protect artistic expression from being used against artists if passed.

The redesigning public safety session, hosted by Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, will discuss ways to change policing in America to ensure Black and Brown communities are supported, such as monitoring police behaviors and mental health. 

Join Karen Clarke Sheard and Reverend Dr. Gina Stewart on Sept. 23 for a “Day of Healing,” where there will be reflection and restoration through words of inspiration and plenty of performances. The sold-out Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner will follow the healing service.

For registration and ticket information, go to