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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Congressional Black Caucus Week Tackles Tough Issues: Among Them Youth Unemployment and Education

Congressional members convene at today's Congressional Black Caucus Town Hall Meeting. Photo/CD Brown

Mark your calendars to attend this year's Congressional Black Caucus events at the Washington Convention Center.

This year's theme Vision, Journey, Mission will address many topics concerning Americans including jobs and education (especially for youth), and economic advancement.

In today's Town Hall meeting titled 'Educating Our Way To Prosperity' members on the panel that included Congressman Elijah Cummings, Representative Dianne Watson (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), and author of The Other Wes Moore talked about educating youth for green jobs, and to think entrepreneurial instead working for someone else.

"We must develop entrepreneurial opportunities", said Fattah. "In many cultures it's a common discussion to educate youth to think about starting a business."

Congressman Elijah Cummings who sits on the Joint Economic Committee said he gets the grim statistics on unemployment way before the public is aware of them. "We need to keep kids (especially young African American boys) interested in school."

Cummings spoke about a computer workshop he attended were young boys were being taught to take computers apart and put them back together. "They couldn't get them to leave", said Cummings.

Getting youth interested in opportunities they can use to become employable was the mantra of the day.

Representative Andre Carson, Donna Byrd of the, Louis Cedric Richmond, Astronaut Mae Jamison and Washington Post writer, Jonathan Capehart, Helena Andrews (author of Bitch Is The New Black) panel an Emerging Leaders session on the Evolution of Economics and Politics.

In a panel discussion on Haiti titled Finding the Path to Redevelopment, paneled by Congressman John Conyers, activist/actor Harry Belafonte, Conyers, the outspoken Congressman said he was ready to put before President Obama an agenda on what he and others want to happen to rebuild Haiti.

Congressman John Conyers and Harry Belafonte panel Haiti: Finding the Path to Redevelopment. Photo/CD Brown.
Conyers made it clear to those assembled that the current conditions of Haiti have to be a priority to the Obama administration and said he is planning to lay before President Obama a "comprehensive plan to make him understand the issue is of great concern."

Also speaking on the panel was Toussaint Hilaire, Director of the Aristide Foundation, who said "people are living in unacceptable conditions."

"There are a lot of rapes, never seen before in Haiti", explained Hilaine speaking through an English interpreter. "There is illness, sickness, hunger, malnutrition, trauma, and people are living under tents."

The Caucus continues through September 18th. Learn more at

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