Scenes From 2012 CBC Legislative Conference

The Root's D.C. insider, Nicole Venable, snapped photos at the Congressional Black Caucus' 42nd-annual conference.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    It’s that time of year again when the African-American political elite from across the country and from all levels of government gather in Washington, D.C., to discuss the pressing issues of the day with members of the Congressional Black Caucus during the Annual Legislative Conference, hosted by the CBC Foundation. Nicole Venable, The Roots D.C. insider, provides a day-by-day peek into the week’s key events.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Phoenix Rising  

    Thousands attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual Phoenix Awards Dinner Saturday night. The four Phoenix Awards recipients this year were U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, filmmaker George Lucas, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and former Mayor of Charlotte, N.C., Harvey Gantt.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Eloquently Stated  

    The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, was the keynote speaker at the Phoenix Awards Dinner. She delivered a powerful message to the gala-dinner guests about the importance of the upcoming election.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    Platinum Event

    The Root’s D.C. insider, Nicole Venable (center), enjoys the gala with D.C.’s top event designer Andre Wells and his wife, Robin.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    Going, Going ... Back, Back

    The scene from above at the CBC California reception, held at D.C. hot spot Sax on Saturday.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  


    D.C. politico Lyndon Boozer (far left) sits with Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C., far right) and Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C., second from right) and their wives at the California reception.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    A 'Beautiful Surprise'  

    R&B singer Tamia treated guests to a lovely performance at the Essence “Evening of Excellence” awards reception on Friday.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    All About Action  

    National Action Network founder the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered remarks about education and its importance for the African-American community at the Essence “Evening of Excellence.”


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    CBC Emerging Leaders  

    D.C. politico Chaka Burgess and Congressional Black Caucus Executive Director Angela Rye at the IMPACT Leaders Preview Reception held at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    Church and State  

    D.C. politico Tene Dolphin with the Rev. Tony Lee of the Community of Hope A.M.E. Church in Suitland, Md., attend the IMPACT reception.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root  

    Where's Roland?  

    Who’s that onstage with the Temptations? CNN commentator Roland Martin at the Alabama reception.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Palmetto State Power

    Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin stands with the national vice president of The Links Inc., Glenda Newell-Harris, Thursday evening during this year’s CBC ALC gathering.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Power Players

    Mike Strautmanis, deputy assistant to the president and counselor for strategic engagement to White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, and his wife, Damona, are spotted at the CBC Leadership Reception honoring CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Southwest Stars

    Marc Ott, city administrator for Austin, Texas, poses with Washington politico Shawna Watley and his deputy city administrator, Anthony Snipes, at the “Stars Fell on Alabama” CBC Reception.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Spreading the Word

    The Executive Leadership Council’s director of communications, Catrell Brown, stands with Capital City Chapter Link Nicole Venable.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Meet the Candidates

    D.C. politicos Lauryl Jackson and Larry Lucas meet with Dallas Congressional Democratic candidate Marc Veasey. Many candidates come to the CBC’s annual conference to network with ALC participants, members of Congress and political strategists.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Making an IMPACT

    IMPACT leader and Obama for America political strategist David Johns poses with The Root’s Nicole Venable.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Stylizing With the Stylistics

    Famed 1970s group the Stylistics entertained at the reception honoring CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver at the Institute of Peace.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    The Stars Come Out

    The Temptations serenade guests at the CBC’s Alabama reception.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Keeping It Real  

    “Real Housewife of D.C.” Stacie Turner and friend Erica Martin pose with top D.C. doctor Lynne Lightfoote Wednesday night.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    NOLA Live

    The Root’s Nicole Venable with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.).

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    Monica Hairston Cost, author of The Things I Used to Do to Sneeze, poses for the camera at the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual conference. Cost’s book will be discussed during the CBC’s author’s symposium.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    West Coast Style

    The Root’Nicole Venable stands with Ashley Gammon, press secretary for Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.).

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Weighing the Issues

    D.C. lawyer John Burns smiles with’s Angel Elliott.

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    House Ways and Means staffer Moyer McCoy poses with Washington politico Richard Parker.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Occupying the Vote

    The National Urban League’s president, Marc Morial, poses with The Root’s Nicole Venable and NUL board member Howard Wooley during this year’s CBC ALC. Morial hosted a reception during the conference highlighting the group’s voter-education initiative.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root


    The NUL’s Marc Morial honors the CBC’s Emanuel Cleaver for his efforts to educate about voter-suppression efforts.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Capital Commerce

    Dell’s Mel Parker poses with Natalie Cofield, president and CEO of the Austin, Texas-based Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce, during a CBC reception honoring African Americans in technology.