An American Girl in Washington

CBC Week So Far

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 22 September 2011

This week Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Leadership Conference (insanely long title, I know). This is basically DC on crack (no pun intended). The forums, sessions, and speakers are extraordinary but only part of the picture. The real conference happens at night, at the dozens of parties, dinners, receptions, concerts and networking events that fill our iCals and keep us running from event to event.

Needless to say, I love it.

So far, on Tuesday night I went to the Minority Chiefs of Staffs reception, recognizing the minority COS’s in Congress and the Administration. The party was wonderful, on the roof of a building across the street from the Capitol so of course the view was amazing. Due to the wonders of corporate sponsorship, the open bar kept the top-shelf spirits flowing and the food was delicious. Even the band was great! And don’t even get me started on the many, many beautiful men and women (and men) attending the party. I loved it, I met a lot of people and I can’t wait for next year’s soiree.

On Wednesday night, Capital Cause was hosting an event at Muse, featuring 30 organizations that are fantastic on their own but would never have been able to throw an event as big as Capital Cause can provide. It was a ton of work, I spent hours and hours planning and arranging and making name tags and running around acting as videographer and holding parking spots in the rain. But, it was a great night and everyone had fun and found out about some new organizations so I’m glad to have done it.

Today was ca-razy, as Erin would say. As a Teach For American conference ambassador, I have a “cohort” (TFA word) of staff members (TFA paid for all 300 African American alums to attend the conference) to show around DC, attend certain sessions with, and generally make sure that they have someone to ask questions of or call when they’re lost, etc. My co-ambassador is ah-mah-zing and I already kind of love her. We all met at the Lincoln Memorial, which was great because some of them hadn’t been. Then we went to Vapiano for lunch and they all (all but one are from New York, the other is from Boston) LOVED it and said, “DC is so cool, I’d love to live here”. Thank you, thank you, my work here is done.

After lunch we attended a really depressing panel discussion on the dearth of Black male teachers in the classroom. I won’t get into it here but it’s my next emPower article so you’ll get to read it there. Then my co-ambassador and I went to the unveiling of Charlie Rangel’s official portrait in the Ways and Means committee room in the House. It was absolutely hi-larious and the cake absolutely made my life.

Post-Rangel we went to a TFA event which featured a few kick-ass speakers, including a woman from FedEx who made us all fall in love with the company. Not only have they given TFA millions specifically for diversity recruitment, they also have a LOT of African-Americans in their upper ranks. We were very impressed. We also heard Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DCPS and a TFA alum, speak. She was absolutely remarkable and had us all on our feet at the end of the night.

Post-speaking we ate (Thank God) and then I was too late for the Sisterhood Reception back downtown (we were at Howard) so I took my tired self home. Which is where I am now.

We’re halfway through and I am sooo tired. More sessions and receptions tomorrow, and then Saturday the conference is having tons of sessions but I have to go to an NAACP training all weekend so I’ll have to miss them. =( But, I am super excited for the training, I’m going to meet a lot of the other Economic Empowerment Committee chairs and co-chairs from all over the country and I am super excited to find out what the rest of the country’s NAACP offices are doing and planning for the upcoming year.

So, that’s what’s on my schedule. I’ll keep you posted!



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