Legislative Black Caucus Celebrates 50th Anniversary
The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) celebrated its 50th Anniversary with “The Legacy Continues” Black Tie Gala at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Globe Theatre. Nearly 500 people gathered at the Gala to honor 50 years of advocacy by former CLBC leaders, including the Founder’s Award recipients, Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr. and the Hon. Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke; the Chairman’s Award recipient, Hon. Nate Holden; and the Vanguard Award recipient, Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas.
“The California Legislative Black Caucus began with the belief that by speaking with a single voice, we could be a force on issues affecting education, justice, and civil rights.” said CLBC Chair, Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The Gala’s honorees are visionaries who successfully passed policies on these issues and are responsible for making California the leader it is today.”
“[The California] Legislative Black Caucus became a reality because [Mervyn Dymally] came to us and said let’s do something together,” said former Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown during his acceptance speech. “And the votes that we put together from that moment on became part of the public policy consideration for the state of California.”
The Gala, attended by members of the California Legislature, Congress, state government and community leaders, was emceed by Margaret Shug Avery who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in the film The Color Purple. The event concluded with a musical performance by Aloe Blacc.
“With each new generation comes a renewed commitment to the future, and as valuable as it is that we look back and honor these milestones, we always have to keep looking forward, keep moving forward. We will continue to fight for equality, for criminal justice reform, for environmental justice, and for ensuring greater access to education and enterprise for African Americans,” said Holden.