9:30AM - 12:30PM
Bushnell's Belding Theater, Hartford, CT
In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was a clarion call to freedom, galvanizing public sentiment for abolition leading up to the Civil War. Today, social justice for all still eludes us. In recognition of Stowe's Bicentennial, the Stowe Center has invited the Congressional Black Caucus to Hartford to join the conversation Stowe began 160 years ago. Join us for a public program, moderated by WNPR's Where We Live host, John Dankosky with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman John B. Larson, Connecticut legislators, policy makers, community activists, students and individuals working on three key issues:
- The Achievement Gap
- The Economics of Race
- Health Disparities
The moderated program is open to the public and will stream live from our website. The goal of the program is to create a blueprint with key actions to address these inequities and identify actions we can all take for positive change.
Bios for Members of the Congressional Black Caucus
(Additional bios will be added as they become available)
Congresswoman Corrine Brown
Corrine Brown was elected to Congress from the Third District of Florida in 1992. She is a public servant who prides herself on delivering the goods and services of the federal government to her constituents. As a result of Brown's commitment to bringing the services of Washington back to Florida, communities throughout the Third District have been able to access resources previously unavailable to them. Brown was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives for a tenth term in November 2010. In the 112th Congress, she will serve as the Ranking Member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials and as a senior member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, as well as the Subcommittee on Water & Environment. Ms. Brown will also continue to serve on the Committee on Veterans Affairs and the VA Subcommittee on Health.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield
Congressman G. K. Butterfield is a lifelong resident of Wilson, N.C., and has served the people of the First Congressional District of North Carolina since 2004. After serving 15 years as a state judge, in 2004, Congressman Butterfield retired after being selected as the Democratic nominee in the special election to fill the unexpired term as U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s First Congressional District. He was first elected on July 20, 2004, and continues to serve today.In the 110th Congress, Congressman Butterfield became part of House leadership with an appointment as a Chief Deputy Whip. Chief Deputy Whips are responsible for helping to formulate policy and for ensuring the passage of legislation. He is the first Democrat from North Carolina to serve as a Chief Deputy Whip. Congressman Butterfield serves on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He serves as the Ranking Democrat of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes interstate and foreign commerce, including all trade matters within the jurisdiction of the full committee; regulation of commercial practices, including sports-related matters; consumer affairs, consumer protection, consumer product safety and product liability; motor vehicle safety; and regulation of travel and tourism. Congressman Butterfield served as the vice chairman of the Energy Subcommittee in the 111th Congress and now serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.
Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr.
Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. He succeeded his father, the Honorable Bill Clay, who represented Missouri’s 1st District for 32 years and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to his election, Congressman Clay served for 17 years in both chambers of the Missouri Legislature. Congressman Clay serves on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has major oversight and investigative responsibilities for the operations of the federal government. He also serves on the powerful Financial Services Committee, which has broad jurisdiction over banking, insurance, investment firms, pensions, consumer credit, and capital markets.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II
Emanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his fourth term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman. In 2009, Cleaver, with a multitude of accomplishments both locally and Congressionally, introduced the most ambitious project of his political career—the creation of a Green Impact Zone. This zone, consisting of 150 blocks of declining urban core, has received approximately $125 million dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds. The Green Impact Zone is aimed at making this high crime area the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world. This project includes rebuilding Troost Avenue, rehabbing bridges, curbs and sidewalks, home weatherization, smart grid technology in hundreds of homes, and most importantly, hundreds of badly needed jobs for Green Zone residents. Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the 112th Congress.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. began service in the United States House of Representatives on December 12, 1995, as a member of the 104th Congress. He was the 91st African American ever elected to Congress. Representative Jackson currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, serving as the 4th most senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; the Vice-Chair, or 2nd most senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and a member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. His leadership created the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health in 2001, hailed by many minority health experts as the most important civil rights legislation since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Representative Jackson also secured funding for the Institute of Medicine's 2002 report on health disparities, "Unequal Treatment." In addition, Representative Jackson has served as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission since 2003, and as a member of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Board since 2000.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is serving her ninth term as a member of the United States House of Representatives. She represents the 18th Congressional District of Texas, centered in Houston, which is the energy capital of the world. In the 110th Congress, Congresswoman Jackson Lee was named the new Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection. She sits on two Congressional Committees — the House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security. The Congresswoman has authored several immigration bills, such as H.R. 750, the "Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2007", which sets forth a comprehensive and humane solution to the immigration problem. Rep. Jackson Lee introduced legislation to enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes with H.R. 254, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention of 2007. Rep. Jackson Lee also played a significant role in the recent renewal and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Congresswoman Jackson Lee contributed an amendment to the NASA reauthorization bill this year that will ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to NASA’s education programs.
Congressman Hank Johnson
Entering his third term as U.S. Representative for Georgia's Fourth Congressional District, Congressman Hank Johnson has distinguished himself as a substantive, hard-working legislator who delivers results.
A champion of fairness for working American families, he has introduced, co-sponsored and passed legislation to level the playing field and create opportunity. He has consistently supported legislation to ensure that all Americans have access to employment opportunities and affordable health care. He has championed consumer protection, education, civil liberties and support for public safety. He was an outspoken critic of the Iraq War and abuses within the Bush Justice Department. Opposed to the Wall Street bailout, he championed efforts to redirect those funds to Main Street. As part of the Whip Team, he played an important role in assembling votes for the historic health care reform act -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Congressman Gregory Meeks
Serving the people of New York's Sixth Congressional District has been the focus of Congressman Gregory W. Meeks' thirteen year tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Meeks is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, and is the former chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. He currently serves on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. A critical committee for the state of New York, the Financial Services Committee oversees all components of the nation's housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. The Committee continually reviews the laws and programs relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and international development and finance agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Congressman Meeks seeks to promote policies that strengthen America's economic and national security and build relationships with other nations in a more globalized world. He is a strong supporter of diplomacy and as such is a co-chair of the Dialogue Caucus in the House of Representatives. He also co-chairs the Services Caucus to promote the advancement of trade in services, and the Organization of American States Caucus to facilitate a stronger, more cooperative hemisphere.
Congressman Donald Payne
Donald M. Payne, a native of Newark, New Jersey, was elected to represent the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey in 1988 as New Jersey's first African American Congressman by an overwhelming majority and has been returned by a wide margin of the vote in each subsequent election. In 2010, he won election to his twelfth term to represent the 10th District in the 112th Congress. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he serves on two subcommittees - the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. Throughout his tenure in Congress, he has been a leading advocate of education and has been instrumental in making K-12 public schools more successful and making college more affordable. Payne was a key player in the passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which cuts interest rates on Stafford loans in half, increases Pell Grants, and provides loan forgiveness to public service employees with student loan debt. He sponsored legislation designed to close the achievement gap including the Expanded Learning Time Act, the Prescribe a Book Act, and the Youth Financial Education Act.
Congressman Charles Rangel
Charles B. Rangel is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he made history as the first African American member of Congress to lead the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Now serving his 21st term in the House of Representatives, he has been cited as the most effective lawmaker in the House, leading all of his colleagues in passing legislation. He was a prime contributor to President Obama's historic health care reform law. In Congress, following Matthew's teaching, he has been a stalwart champion for the "least among us," advocating powerfully and persistently to improve the lives of working people. A leading advocate for equal rights and equal opportunity, Congressman Rangel has boosted the incomes of millions of working families with the Earned Income Tax Credit, and pumped billions of dollars into revitalization of communities across the nation, including Harlem. Demonstrating his commitment to education, he has created financial mechanisms to construct and rehabilitate public schools across the country. Congressman Rangel's unparalleled foreign policy record has focused on Africa and the Caribbean. In 1986, he sounded the death knell for apartheid in South Africa with the "Rangel Amendment," which forced the largest U.S. investors to abandon the country. He has created trading and investment opportunities for struggling nations in the Caribbean and Africa. In 2010, he successfully promoted vital investment incentives for earthquake ravaged Haiti.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson
In 2007, Richardson prevailed over a field of 16 candidates in a special election and was elected to her first term in the House of Representatives to represent California's culturally and economically diverse 37th Congressional District. In winning this election, Congresswoman Richardson became the first person in United States history to serve at the local, state, and federal level in the span of less than one year.
Congresswoman Richardson currently serves on both the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and Committee on Homeland Security. She serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response and sits on four subcommittees on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congresswoman Richardson focuses her efforts on improving the movement of goods, enhancing the nation’s homeland security, expanding access to health care services, and investing in the nation’s infrastructure. Minority Leader Pelosi has referred to Representative Richardson as bright, energetic, intelligent, and an asset to the committee chairs, caucuses and her constituents.
Representative Laura Richardson is the 26th African-American female and the 239th female to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Bicentennial Weekend Sponsors
Connecticut Health Foundation
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Arrow Prescription Center
Cloud and Robinson Development
Fox CT/ CT One Media
The Hartford Advocate
WNPR Connecticut Public Broadcasting