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NBCSL in the News
See video from the closing plenary session of NBCSL's 37th Annual Legislative Conference. Titled, "Galvanizing State Action on Civil Rights," this session featured speakers offering different perspectives on how legislators can improve the social status of all Americans in the next century.
Upward of 700 state legislators, their families, legislative staffers, other government officials, policy advocates and corporate executives gathered in Memphis Dec. 11-14 for the 37th annual conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. The meeting of lawmakers from across the country is one of the largest gatherings of black officials every year since its founding in 1977. The NBCSL represents more than 600 Black lawmakers from 45 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.
For Joe Armstrong, the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the next few days will be filled with discussions about voting rights, the struggle of historically Black colleges and the Affordable Care Act. The group of elected officials from a wide array of states is convening in Memphis and, according to Armstrong, they are deeply concerned about legislation in some states that they say are designed to erode gains made by African-Americans.
There are at least 24 states where voter-I.D. laws have already been introduced, at least seven are trying to end same-day [voting and] registration and eight are trying to limit existing opportunities to vote early,” said Maryland State Sen. Catherine Pugh, a Democrat representing Baltimore and president elect of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
Despite her success on Broadway, as a recording artist and later on prime-time television, Jennifer Holliday fought clinical depression for 20 years and tried to commit suicide on her 30th birthday in 1990. The 52-year-old singer shared her poignant life story on Friday — then belted out three songs to everyone's delight — during a conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Indianapolis.
Enrollment for health insurance exchanges opened in states across the nation, including Indiana, this month. Amid hopes of the promises that the Affordable Care Act brings to Americans, there is no better time to highlight how this new law will increase access to mental health services for all Hoosiers.
Black lawmakers from across the nation are tackling the issue of mental health in the African-American community. They're discussing the toll that depression and other issues are taking across the board. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators and Eli Lilly Inc hosted "Black America's Dialogue on Health" in Indianapolis Friday.
The Minority Media and Telecom Council began its eleventh annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference with a lunch panel of legislators discussing efforts to increase minority access on Tuesday.
Community leaders call for a change in Florida's self-defense laws as they join in prayer at the state Capitol. A lot has been said and written about race in the jury trial of George Zimmerman, who was acquitted on all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an African American youth.
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators has called for the rejection of stand-your-ground laws, currently on the books in 20 states. The 17 members of Tennessee’s Black Caucus are also calling for a review of that state’s stand-your-ground law, which — like Florida’s law — does not require citizens to “retreat from violence” if they feel threatened outside their home. 
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