The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) invites you to its 37th Annual Legislative Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is "PROGRESS: Moving Our States Forward Through Policy Action".

This year's conference features a multitude of presentations and discussions all aimed at addressing current legislative issues in our communities.

The event gives you the chance to:
  • Participate in educational sessions on a variety of issue areas;
  • Converse and network with leading policy makers, state and federal officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders;
  • Hear powerful speakers and dynamic thought leaders; and
  • Voice your concerns regarding leading issues in your community.

2013 Award Recipients

37th Annual Legislative Conference
PROGRESS: Moving Our Nation Forward Through Policy Action
December 11-14, 2013

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Nation Builders

Forest Whitaker Award Forest Whitaker
Humanitarian and Peacemaker
Michael Baisden Award Michael Baisden
Self-Publisher, Filmmaker, Motivational Speaker and Mouthpiece against Injustice
Cylk Cozart Award Cylk Cozart
Actor, Spokesperson, Keeping Dreams Alive.
Dr. Steve Perry Award Dr. Steve Perry
Innovative, Inspiring, Revolutionary Educator

2013 State Nation Builders

Reverend Dr. Harold Middlebrook Award Dr. Harold Middlebrooks, Sr. (Tennessee)
Civil Rights Activist, Warrior for Justice, Passing the Torch to the Next Generation
Arnold Pinkney Award Arnold R. Pinkney (Ohio)
Businessman, Political Strategist, Community Leader
Reverend C.T. Vivian Award Reverend C. T. Vivian (Georgia)
A Soldier for Civil Rights Training up a New Generation of Leaders
David Porter Award David Porter (Tennessee)
Soul Man, Songwriter, Mentor

2013 Holmes Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award
Representative Barbara Ballard (KS)

Corporate Achievement and Image Award
LaKeitha Anderson
Reynolds American, Incorporated

The Regis F. Groff Award
Harrison Morrow

Labor Leader of the Year Award
Ken Washington
Laborers' District Council

Crystal Gavel Award
Representative Karen Camper (TN)
Representative Mary Coleman (MS)
Representative Brenda Gilmore (TN)
Representative Reginald Meeks (KY)
Senator Reginald Tate (TN)

Legislator of the Year
Representative Barbara Boyd (AL)

2013 Humanitarian Award
Representative Calvin Smyre (GA)

2013 Corporate Round Table Awards Legislator of the Year
Representative Johnny Shaw (TN)

2013 Corporate Round Table Member of the Year
Sedrick Spencer
Celgene Corporation

2013 ALC Keynote Speakers


Dr. Dennis Rahiim WatsonDr. Dennis Rahiim Watson
Motivational Speaker
CeCe WinansCeCe Winans
Grammy Award-Winning International Recording Artist


John Hope BryantJohn Hope Bryant
CEO and Founder, Operation HOPE



Melanie ShelbyMelanie Shelby
Managing Director
Gray, Greer, Shelby, & Vaughn, LLC


Shannon A. BrownShannon A. Brown
Senior Vice President / Chief HR and Diversity Officer
FedEx Express


Reverend Keith NormanReverend Keith Norman
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church - Broad


Lynn WhitfieldLynn Whitfield
Emmy Award-Winning Actress



Roland S. MartinRoland S. Martin
Award-winning Journalist and Political Analyst


Thomas PerezThe Honorable Thomas Perez
U.S. Secretary of Labor
Doug BlackmonDoug Blackmon
Author, Pulitzer-Prize Winner
Slavery By Another Name
Lucia McBathLucia McBath
Mother of Jordan Russell Davis
National Spokesperson
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Tamika MalloryTamika Mallory
Former Executive Director
National Action Network
Kim McCrayKim McCray
Executive Director
Trayvon Martin Foundation


D'Army BaileyD’Army Bailey
Civil Rights Activist, Attorney, Author, Actor and Retired Circuit Court Judge, Founding Member of the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel - Memphis

2013 ALC Policy Session Panelists

Mr. Lance Brown
Executive Director
The Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy

Ms. Lisa Calderón
Executive Director
Denver Community Re-entry Project

Dr. George Cooper
Executive Director
White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Mr. Roscoe Dixon
Former Tennessee State Senator, 33rd Legislative District
Former Chair, NBCSL Health and Human Services Policy Committee

Mr. Wayne Ford
Founder and Executive Director, Urban Dreams, Inc.
Former Iowa State Representative, 71st Legislative District

Mr. Charles Griffin
Vice President of Operations
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis

Mr. Anton Gunn
Director of External Affairs
Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Honorable Jeff Hayden
Minnesota State Senator, 62nd Legislative District

Mr. Herbert Hilliard
Vice Chairman
Tennessee Regulatory Authority

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young
Acting Administrator of Agricultural Research Service
Associate Administrator for National Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Mr. Richard Jerome
Manager, Public Safety Performance Project
Pew Center on the States

Mr. Corey Johns
Executive Director
Connected Tennessee

Dr. Latif Lighari
Associate Dean of Extension College of Agriculture
Tennessee State University

Mr. Herman Morris
City Attorney
City of Memphis

Ms. Hilda Pinnix-Ragland
Vice President
Corporate Public Affairs
Duke Energy

Mr. Paul Phelan
Government Relations Manager, Western District
Tennessee Valley Authority

Mr. Derrick Schofield
Tennessee Department of Correction

Ms. Stephanie Teatro
Director of Advocacy
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRCC)

The Honorable Geraldine Thompson
Florida State Senator, 12th Legislative District

The Honorable Sharon Tomiko Santos
Washington State Representative, 37th Legislative District
Chair, National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators (NAPACSL)

Mr. Charles Traughber
Retired Chairman
Tennessee Board of Parole

The Honorable J.C. Watts
Founder and Chairman
J.C. Watts Companies
Former United States Congressman (R-OK)

Ms. Hedy Weinberg
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Tennessee

The Honorable A.C. Wharton
City of Memphis

Mr. Robert Wimmer
Energy & Environmental Research, Technical & Regulatory Affairs

AALSCC Panel Speakers

Joan Jenkins
BCBC, Nashville

Ernest Jones
Western Mental Health, Bolivar

Roger Pursley
Western Mental Health, Bolivar

Bishop William Young and Pastor Diane Young
The Healing Center – Memphis, TN

Mr. William “Bill” Cheeks
ABBA Associates, Inc. – Atlanta, GA

Mr. Robbie Stokes, Jr
Stokes Consulting Group – Columbia, SC