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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation To Honor Bobby Jones, Kenny Leon And Tayari Jones

Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts To Honor Student Scholarship Winners

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses will recognize the contributions of three icons in the arts, as well as students pursuing careers and opportunities in those areas from 8:00 p.m. -10:30 p.m., during the 16th Annual Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts on September 19 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The event serves as a fundraiser for scholarships in the performing and visual arts as well as the kick off for the Foundation's 42nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from September 19-22. Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence Magazine and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, will serve as the evening's emcee.


This year's honorees are Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones, gospel artist; Kenny Leon, theatrical director; and Tayari Jones, author. Dr. Jones, best known as the host and executive producer of Bobby Jones Gospel which has aired on BET since 1980, performs all styles of gospel music. The Bobby Jones Gospel Radio Show and The Bobby Jones Gospel Countdown, are favorites of gospel music lovers. In 2010 award-winning director Mr. Leon's Broadway show 'Fences' garnered 10 Tony nominations, including Best Director, the most nominations ever for a play revival, set box office records and received the Tony award for best Revival of a Play, Best Actor and Best Actress. Past Tony nominations include, his Broadway productions of 'Radio Golf', 'Gem of the Ocean' and 'Raisin In The Sun', starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald. Ms. Jones first novel, Leaving Atlanta, received best of the year nods from The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Creative Loafing. Her second book, The Untelling, won the Lillian C. Smith Award from the Southern Regional Council and was a Target Breakout Book.

In addition, 20 undergraduate students will be recognized as scholarship recipients in the performing and visual arts. More than 270 performing and visual arts students applied for CBCF's  National Scholarship Program – an increase of about 57 percent from last year's applicant pool.

ALC provides an outlet to highlight the mission of CBCF – to develop leaders, to inform policy and to educate the public throughout the global black community. It provides dozens of forums to address the critical challenges facing the African-American community. The Foundation will offer numerous session tracks to present high level, thought-provoking, engaging and useful information. The town hall discussion will center on conversations about voting rights and voter suppression. The third installation of the research report Breaking Barriers 3 will be released during ALC and further define academic success for school-aged African-American males. CBCF will present its Emerging Leader Series and the popular Black Party networking/awards event will return. There are opportunities for attendees to engage with entrepreneurs throughout the exhibit hall and author's pavilion. In addition, CBC members and their spouses will join together for a community outreach project with U.S. veterans. The conference will culminate with its awards/fundraising dinner. Proceeds from ALC are used to fund educational opportunities and program outreach.

"The Annual Legislative Conference brings together policy-makers, educators, business and industry leaders, celebrities, media, emerging leaders and everyday Americans to discuss and solve issues that are important to all Americans," said Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer for CBCF. "The conference is recognized as one of the most important gatherings of African-American leaders in the nation. In addition, attendees recognize the importance of what CBCF accomplishes in the community and have supported our efforts to provide scholarships, internships and fellowships, to improve economic parity and to decrease health disparities."

To register for the conference or learn more about the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, visit

Get Engaged.  Stay Connected.  Join CBCF online at
Download the CBCF 2012 ALC app on iTunes and Google Play.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., was established in 1976 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities.

SOURCE Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

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