Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust

THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK Caucus Veterans BrainTrust held during the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., drew participants from all over the United States. Conference attendees photographed above from (left to right) are Barbara Pittman-DC, Marilyn Harris-TX, Third Congressional District Congressman Dwight Evans, Dr. Cathy B. Santos, Philadelphia-PA,  Dianne Butts-VA, and Terrie Fuller-GA.

By Cathy Bennett-Santos

On September 13, 2019 in Washington, DC the Congressional Black Caucus Veteran’s Braintrust 2019 was host to several thousand veterans and members of the military community with a robust schedule. The Braintrust focus for 2019 was Women Veterans comprising presentations and discussion by experts with networking among veterans from many military platforms and war eras.

The Veteran’s Braintrust was founded in 1988 by Vietnam era veterans under the leadership of Congressmen Charles Rangel, Sanford Bishop and Congresswoman Corrine Brown and celebrated 31 years in addressing policy and issues pertinent to African American veterans at this year’s Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust.

The kick-off venue hosted by the American Legion Headquarters and  facilitated by Joanne Fisher, Founder of Women Veterans United, was well attended by women veterans who traveled across many states and of many service platforms as military women. The attendees networked while enjoying an amazing catered meal and provided many resources offered by the American Legion on legislation and other information of historical significance. Followed by an evening at the African American Civil War Museum where the film was shown portraying women of a particular unit during WWI and II called Rosie the Riveter; attending also were a few living legends of this era. An amazing narrative provided by Greg Cook, professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was given.

Other activities did comprise three panel discussions by presenters of expert knowledge and experience on Veterans Affairs in advocacy and legislation. Among which are the Honorable Charles Rangel, Sanford Bishop and Iraq Veterans Congressman of Maryland Anthony Brown. Other panel experts included professional contributions in the sciences and mental health environment and women veterans who presented across several informative platforms of historical significance.

The Veterans Braintrust Gala recognized women veterans in a black tie event at the Rayburn Building  with tribute to many deserving veterans being recognized for contributions to the military and community as advocates and community leaders. The event concluded with a networking reception on Saturday at the Women In Memorial Service Association in Arlington, Virginia.

This amazing Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust under the leadership of Ron Armstead of Boston, Massachusetts, and a Founding Member can be credited with the success of a well attended, all inclusive venue for addressing African American veterans. This inaugural women veterans forum was attended by the Department of Veteran Affairs who was onsite to provide resources and to address any concerns to the many who would present at the resource table.

Two bills are introduced in support of legislation for ‘Six Triple Eight Congressional Metals for the S. 633 and H.R. 3138.”

For info visit the social network on Facebook at Congressional Black Caucus Veteran’s Braintrust; and Twitter @Philly vet #cbcfalc19 for more updates and highlights for this incredible venue.

Cathy Bennett-Santos is with the Women Veterans Business Solutions LLC – Media.

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  1. Attn of; Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust…

    Please allow me to say that I am sorry to admit that so many Black people, (my people) are still suffering from THE AFTERMATH OF SLAVERY.
    Like MUST BLACK PEOPLE always be on the FORGIVING END?
    Like Ohoo, massa, I’m sorry it cost’d you (10cent) for the two bullets it took to murder my brother…
    Or a Black judge forgiving & apologizing to a murderer, for having to sentence her to the minimum poison-time, for the cold bloody murder of a Black man.
    I wonder if she would’ve done the same, if the victim, had been her son? Or her brother?


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