Capitol Connections: CBC Edition

D.C. comes alive during the annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference. Our insider, Nicole Venable, captures it all.

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    Nicole Venable

    An International Affair

    The Turkish Embassy hosted an exclusive soiree honoring the chiefs of staff of the Congressional Black Caucus members. The reception was held after the annual CBC gala dinner.

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    Nicole Venable

    Hail to the Chiefs

    Two of the most influential chiefs of staff on the Hill, Tracie Pough, chief of staff to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), and Yebbie Watkins, chief of staff to Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.).

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    Nicole Venable

    Managing the Message

    DNC’s National Press Secretary Melanie Roussell with Ronald Newman, legal advisor at the U.S. State Department.

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    Nicole Venable

    Sweet Home Alabama

    Rep. Terri Sewell’s chief of staff Nichole Francis Reynolds and her husband, Fred Reynolds III. Sewell (D-Ala.) is a freshman member of Congress.

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    Nicole Venable

    Advisor Extraordinaire

    CBC chief of staff Carrie Kohns and her husband Daniel Kohns attend the reception at the Turkish Embassy. Prior to her appointment with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Carrie served as chief of staff to former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty.

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    Nicole Venable

    Making a Statement

    Mikael Moore, chief of staff for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and CBC Communications Director Stephanie Young.

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    Nicole Venable

    California Dreaming

    The Root‘s D.C. Insider Nicole Venable with Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.).

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    Nicole Venable

    President at the Podium

    Before the Turkish Embassy soiree, President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of 5,000 at the main event — the 41st Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.  The attendees were a mix of CBC members, administration officials, state and local legislators, Hill staffers, politicos and other stakeholders interested in the CBC’s legislative agenda.

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    Nicole Venable

    Conscience of the Congress

    42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the Annual Awards Gala dinner held at the Washington Convention Center. (Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) did not participate.)

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    Nicole Venable

    Southern Gentleman

    Southern Company’s Leroy Nix with The Root‘s D.C. Insider Nicole Venable at the CBC gala dinner. Southern Company hosted the CBC reception with Essence magazine on Friday evening, during which guests were serenaded by El DeBarge.

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    Nicole Venable

    Simply Elegant

    The president and the first lady “wowed” at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Gala dinner.

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    Nicole Venable

    Emerging Leaders

    Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Executive Director Angela Rye; Hill staffer Keidra King (Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.); Virgil Miller, chief of staff to Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.); and Bethany Williams.

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    Nicole Venable

    Memorializing the Moment

    The Root‘s D.C. Insider Nicole Venable with Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the MLK National Memorial Project Foundation.

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    Nicole Venable

    Cuba Meets Louisiana

    Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. enjoys the “Rendevous on Bourbon” Louisiana CBC reception at SAX Restaurant & Lounge in D.C.

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    Nicole Venable

    Empire State of Mind

    Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) enjoys the Louisiana reception with Nicole Venable.

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    Nicole Venable

    Leaders in Telecom

    John Howell, pictured with Kimberly Bassett, the executive director of the Wireless Foundation, and AT&T executive Marie Long.

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    Nicole Venable

    Motor City

    Nicole Venable with Eric Peterson, vice president of diversity at General Motors, and GM executive Aquila Powell at the “Motown” reception honoring the CBC members from Michigan. Guests were treated to a performance from R&B artist Ledisi.

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    Nicole Venable

    The Root Represents

    The Diva Lounge honored “Women in Politics & Civil Service” during CBC Week. Honoree Donna Byrd, publisher of The Root, poses with marketing and public relations strategist Maurisa Potts.


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    Nicole Venable

    In the Land of Obama

    Obama-administration officials Nia Phillips (Department of Education) and Karen Richardson (White House), pictured at the Diva Lounge reception. Karen was honored as an extraordinary woman in civil service.


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    Nicole Venable

    In the Hive

    The Root‘s D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, with Jonathan McDaniel, an actor in town for a CBC Week private screening of Robert Townsend’s In the Hive, co-starring Vivica A. Fox and Loretta Devine.


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    Nicole Venable


    Former staffers often connect with former bosses at CBC. Pictured here: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and former staffer-turned-politico Melanie Alvord of Motorola Solutions.


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    Nicole Venable

    Radio Ready

    Henry Stewart, former Hill staffer Kanya Bennett and Yul Edwards, chief of staff for Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), attend a reception at the Recording Industry Association of America.


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    Nicole Venable

    Each One, Teach One

    City Year Washington, D.C., Executive Director Jeff Franco and one of City Year’s teaching volunteers attend the Girl Scout CBC luncheon.


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    Nicole Venable

    Strong and Determined

    Teen Girl Scout Jillian Ross and Rainbow PUSH’s Executive Director Kimberly Marcus at the Girl Scout Lunch, highlighting a new Girl Scouts’ report on young women and leadership, “The Resilience Factor.”


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    Nicole Venable

    Sharing the Word

    The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation provides an author forum during its conference. Author Tayari Jones talks with CBC participants about her new book, Silver Sparrow.


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    Nicole Venable

    Stars Fall on Alabama

    Freshman CBC member Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) attended a reception honoring Alabama at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. One of the earthly stars out that evening was American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. Later, guests were treated to a set by Morris Day and the Time.


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    Nicole Venable

    Art Vision

    The Root hosted a CBC reception with leaders of the organization Impact at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, where guests got a sneak peek at the “30 Americans” exhibit.


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    Nicole Venable

    Simply Fab

    The Root‘s Nicole Venable with the creator and editor-in-chief of the Fab Empire, Joi-Marie McKenzie.


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    Nicole Venable

    Mix and Mingle

    Corcoran Gallery executive Rachel Cothran and Root contributor and author of Bitch Is the New Black Helena Andrews, with Rob Dyer.


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    Nicole Venable

    DC Connections

    The Root‘s Joel Dreyfuss; Brian Kenner, chief of staff for Washington, D.C.’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development; and The Root DC journalist Christopher Jenkins.


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    Nicole Venable

    Pop Stars

    The Root‘s Nicole Venable with Sister 2 Sister Publisher Jamie Foster Brown, Paul Wharton and Omarosa Manigault at BET’s Black Girls Rock! after-party at the Hard Rock Cafe.