By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (D-Nevada). Official photo.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (D-Nevada). Official photo.

(NNPA) – Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) said his commitment to marginalized communities, Black America, and his Democratic colleagues have always been unwavering. The 2023 National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Leadership Award recipient’s leadership and tireless efforts in a divided and near-broken Congress have served as a beacon of hope for countless individuals, particularly people of color.

On Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, Horsford will step front and center at the Marriott Marquis in the heart of the nation’s capital, with other recipients of the Leadership Award as the NNPA, the trade association of the Black Press of America, honor his contributions to the pursuit of social justice and equity which have garnered recognition and ignited meaningful change across the nation.

Prior to the ceremony and the kickoff of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Horsford held a private gathering to discuss the week ahead. At the event, he told the Black Press that the 2023 Leadership Award counts as a significant acknowledgment he wouldn’t take for granted. The Nevada leader emphasized the critical role of a free press in safeguarding democracy, especially amid escalating tensions on Capitol Hill.

“Especially at a moment when democracy is under attack, one of the cornerstones of our democracy is a free press, and the role of the Black Press is ensuring that the general public, but particularly Black America, has access to accurate non-subjective information at a time when people are getting bombarded with misinformation and disinformation, particularly the Black community,” Horsford remarked.

He also took the opportunity to extend the honor to the entire Congressional Black Caucus. “This award speaks to the work of the CBC,” Horsford insisted. “I’m honored as chair to be able to receive the award, but I receive it on behalf of the 58 members and the 80 million Americans, 18 million Black Americans we represent who deserve to have a free press that works for them, and that’s at stake right now with our democracy being under attack.”

Horsford repeatedly emphasized the vital role played by the Black Press in bringing critical issues to the forefront of public discourse, often preceding mainstream media coverage. “The Black press has over time brought issues to the fore before the mainstream press brought them,” he stated. “They bring perspectives from their own lived experiences, lifting up the voices of Black communities and also other marginalized communities that don’t always get their stories told.”

Recognizing the challenges faced by Black journalists and reporters, Horsford highlighted the importance of acknowledging their dedication and hard work in the field. “Ensuring that Black journalists and reporters are recognized for the representation they bring to their newsrooms,” he continued. “Understand this isn’t an easy profession, and it’s important for us to be able to lift up the people who worked hard to get to the level and took positions they are in within the press corp.”

NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., said the award is a testament to Horsford’s steadfast commitment to championing civil rights and justice for all.

“His relentless pursuit of a fairer and more just society has earned him this well-deserved recognition, and his influence promises to continue shaping a brighter future for marginalized communities across the United States,” Chavis affirmed.

In addition to Horsford, the NNPA also bestowed the 2023 NNPA Leadership Award to Jasmine Crocket (D-Texas), Niesha Foster of Pfizer Inc., Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President and CEO of Dreambox Learning, and The People’s Attorney Ben Crump.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), known as the Black Press of America, is the federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers in the United States.