Congressional Black Caucus Conference 2012: First Day Thoughts

42nd Annual Legislative Conference

Good evening all! Today has been an interesting day indeed. This weekend, I write    this post from Washington, D.C. I am in town for the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is holding a four day event, which started this Wednesday. The theme for this conference is Inspiring Leaders and Building Generations, and I noticed that much of it was geared towards youth and civic engagement. A great launching point for the events of the day, as they would run the gamut in dealing with a number of issues that effect young voters.

First off, on a personal level, I have to say at how impressed I am with this event and how the day proceeded. This is my first time attending an event revolving around the CBC, and things were really accessible and straightforward. Aside from figuring out which building to go to, things were fairly easy to find. I sat in on a few panels, and conversed with a number of people from the DC area. While I did go to more, I want to talk about the panel I found to be the most interesting today.

As a person who is working to change up my health habits, I gravitated to an afternoon panel at the CBC around health issues. The name of it was When Fat Is No Longer Phat: Black Women, Obesity and Heart Disease. Hosted by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, the panelists included Star Jones, Prof. Tricia Rose, and Dr. Rovenia Brock among many others. While they and others shared ideas and techniques to get Black women to be more concerned about their health, there was a welcome space for discussion. The panel talked about things ranging from body image, to food deserts, and delved into the connection between poverty and obesity. When attendees from the audience shared their stories of health concerns and struggles, all were responded to in an affirmative way. From tips to eat healthy on a budget, to taking stock of the need to find time to exercise, the advice came from a place of non-judgement.  This was billed as a brain trust on health, but there was a lot of heart in it as well.

Those are my quick thoughts on today’s piece of the conference, and I am looking forward to tomorrows outing. You will be hearing more from this writer on this weekends happenings here at the CBC in DC. So stay tuned! Peace!

Marc W. Polite

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