By Cheryl Brownlee | OBSERVER Correspondent

The nation’s leading policy conference is back and in-person at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, functioning strategically under the theme, “Advancing Our Purpose. Elevating Our Power.” 

“Get ready for five days of assembling as a community of powerful voices committed to mobilizing Black communities,” organizers posted on the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Twitter page. “For decades, ALC has brought together thought leaders, elected officials, aspiring change agents, and more in the spirit of fellowship and to celebrate Black excellence. However, it is much more. It is also ‘a year of action.’” 

In correlation with the ALC, on Sept. 30, the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce (SBCC) is hosting its annual “Prosper Event Building Sustainability through Collaboration” in its “Underrepresented Communities: Environmental Healthcare and Social Justice” event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The SBCC formed Prosper in 2010 as the national advocacy forum to focus on small businesses, promote economic vitality, and encourage collaboration and advocacy for entrepreneurial success. SBCC convenes a panel during ALC each year.

Tickets to ALC 2022 include an access badge for in-person attendance, a swag bag, a pathway to signature events such as the “Opening Night Reception,” “National Town Hall,” “Gospel Extravaganza,” policy sessions, two Lunch Tickets, and other events.

The five-day public policy affair will have a virtual platform to meet the needs of the constituents who prefer to participate remotely.

For CBCF, 2022 is a year of reuniting and focusing on raising Black voices and perspectives with pride as the Black community engages and explores policy and today’s most critical issues concerning the Black experience.

CBCF outlined for ALC that it is also “a year of action.” Sparking Black civic engagement is more crucial than ever as the Black community faces a pivotal election season in November, according to CBCF. 

“In the wake of the public health crisis spurred by COVID-19, we saw policies reverse, and ideologies resurface that go against the civic progress made in the last 50-plus years.

In a blink of an eye, history was repeating itself as blatant tactics — from voter suppression to police brutality to deepening disparities — were on display,” CBCF said in a written statement.

“With our theme, Advancing Our Purpose. Elevating Our Power, we invite you to join a collective voice as we explore actionable next steps to some of our most critical issues, around public health, criminal and social justice, education, economic empowerment,” CBCF added as the importance of the ALC.

Interns from Save A Girl, Save World (SAGSAW) will be in attendance to engage in leadership activities at the ALC. SAGSAW is a registered nonprofit, multi-generational mentoring and esteem-building program that assists young girls and young women with a continued pipeline of support through mentorship programs and partnerships. 

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the place to be for five days of premium programming and signature events including the “Phoenix Awards” and “Black Party.” Organizers of ALC are eager to safely convene in person in Washington, DC for the first time since 2019. As part of ALC’s new hybrid model, the conference is virtual with on-demand offerings of in-depth policy sessions.

In 1971, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was established by 13 members of the 92nd United States Congress. For the 117th Congress, the CBC has a historic 56 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. 

CBC represents more than 82 million Americans, 25.3% of the total U.S. population, and more than 17 million African-Americans, 41% of the total U.S. African-American population. The CBC represents almost a fourth of the House Democratic Caucus.

Founded as a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational institute in 1976, the CBCF focus aims to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities.

CBCF envisions a world in which the Black community is free of all disparities and able to fully contribute fully to advancing the common good. The nonprofit mission is to advance the global Black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public.

Health and Safety Requirements: For guests attending the ALC in person, it is required that each individual verify that they are fully vaccinated and have received at least one booster. Participants at the five-even are strongly encouraged to protect the community by wearing a mask at all indoor activities. 

“Together our voices are stronger. Through our thoughtful and informative sessions and the celebration of Black excellence, our hope is that you will feel a renewed sense of purpose and will be inspired to continue the work of progressive and positive change,” CBCF stated.

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