President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver a tag team address at the Phoenix Awards dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at its 51st Annual Leadership Conference on Oct. 1, theGrio reports exclusively.
The president and vice president’s dual speeches are expected to highlight the achievements of the Biden-Harris administration on matters of race and other national issues impacting Black communities, according to a White House official.
Harris will be the first of the duo to address the expected crowd of 3,000, including her former colleagues on Capitol Hill and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who she closely worked with as a former United States Senator from the state of California.
The vice president is expected to touch on hot-button topics like abortion and the importance of maintaining American democracy.
With 47 days left until the midterm elections on Nov. 8, the White House is keenly aware of how crucial the Black vote is, as African Americans are a strong, loyal voting bloc for the Democratic Party. Black voters have also held the Biden-Harris administration accountable for keeping its campaign promises on matters of voting rights and police reform, among other issues.
The annual “CBC week,” as it is popularly called, is said to be the nation’s leading public policy conference. This year’s Annual Leadership Conference (ALC) will offer 100 in-person forums that will bring together lawmakers, business leaders, celebrities, concerned citizens, and others to discuss issues that impact Black communities, including education, economic development, voting rights, civic engagement, as well as social and environmental justice.
The CBC addresses from President Biden and Vice President Harris at the Phoenix Awards dinner will build on some of the administration’s most recent and publicized White House meetings with Black leaders. As theGrio previously reported, Biden recently met with civil rights leaders to discuss a range of topics like voting rights, policing, and water infrastructure following the crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. A separate meeting took place between Harris and Black leaders on abortion and reproductive health.
On Thursday, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Biden senior advisor Keisha Lance Bottoms are meeting with Historically Black College and University (HBCU) scholars, as part of a pattern of the administration’s outreach to the Black community.
Last week, the White House held a first-ever, day-long summit on ending hate-fueled violence and extremism, which was planned in response to a host of violent attacks, including the murder of nine African Americans inside a grocery store in Buffalo, New York earlier this year. At the “United We Stand” summit, President Biden emphasized the need to crack down on domestic violence and called out social media companies for their part in fostering hate online.
Meanwhile, the annual CBCF dinner — one of the hot tickets in the Washington, D.C. social scene — will take place as President Biden is enjoying a bump in his job approval rating (44%) based on a recent Gallup poll.
Despite his poll number dropping to an all-time low of 38% in months prior, the president’s approval rating saw an improvement after announcing his student debt forgiveness program and an updated booster vaccine for COVID-19. Biden’s new approval rating is similar to prior presidents like Ronald Reagan at this same time in their presidencies.
As for Harris, the vice president’s speech comes as her visibility has increased. The nation’s first Black female number two is personally wanting to connect more with communities and stakeholders and has seen an increased volume in her travels and meetings hosted at the White House.
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