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Afro-Colombian Caucus Members Meet with Members of the CBC

November 12, 2008

To support the continued development of the Afro-Colombian Congressional Caucus, the International Republican Institute (IRI) hosted three members in Washington, DC for a series of trainings and meetings with the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).  The trainings will help the caucus members strengthen their legislative agenda, organizational structure and representative capacity.  

Dr. Cesar Garcia, the caucus’ technical secretary, and Representatives Franklin Legro and Odin Sanchez’s visit to Washington coincided with this year’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference and the Colombian delegation was attend several events on the conference program.  

During their visit, the delegation met with experts on several key issues including the importance of caucuses, an overview of the Hispanic Conference, addressing disparities in health and education, strategies for developing successful policies, lobbying for budget focus on Afro-Colombian issues, and developing a legislative agenda to address the plight of Afro-Colombians.  A highlight of the visit was an interview with Voice of America (VOA) news and radio program.  During the interview, Representative Legro spoke to viewers and listeners of VOA on the caucus’ overall objectives and major accomplishments.  Additionally, the caucus members took part in a briefing on Capitol Hill to inform policy makers and staffers of the caucus, its history, purpose and future.       

The CBC has served as a model for the Afro-Colombian Congressional Caucus since its conception in 2006.  Using the CBC as its model, the caucus is better able to organize itself and develop capacities in areas of staffing, consensus-building, project development, research, advocacy, media strategy, and fundraising, among other issues.  

IRI works with members of the Afro-Colombian Congressional Caucus to assist in their efforts to be a cohesive, strong and viable entity on the national stage with the capacity to effectively address and better represent the collective needs of the disenfranchised black population in Colombia, which comprises nearly one-fifth of the country’s population. 

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