This is a pretty unbelievable get for a college like Williams:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will join in a discussion of “Race and the New Congress” on Monday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus.  The event, to be moderated by 60 Minutes Correspondent Lesley Stahl, is free and open to the public.  Seating is on a first-come basis.

“What an enormous honor it is for Williams to host the largest number of Congress members ever to gather on our campus,” Williams President Morton Owen Schapiro said, “and what a great privilege for students, faculty, staff, and local residents to hear first-hand from caucus members so soon after the historic presidential election.”

The gathering will be the first of CBC members since Congress recessed for the election.

“I’m excited to take part in such an important discussion at a particularly auspicious time for Congress and the country to advance issues of race,” Stahl said.  “It’s especially newsworthy to assemble so many of the CBC members who hold leadership positions.”

The caucus members so far expected to take part are:

James E. Clyburn (S.C.), Democratic Leadership Majority Whip;
Robert. C. Scott (Va.), Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security;
Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.), Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security;
Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Chairwoman, House Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure Protection;
Danny K. Davis (Ill.), Chairman, House Subcommittee on the District of Columbia;
John Lewis (Ga.), Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means;
Diane E. Watson (Calif.), Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs;
Hank Johnson (Ga.), Member of the House Committee on Armed Services;
Donna M. Christensen (V.I.), Member of the House Homeland Security;
Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

The event was initiated by Visiting Lecturer in Political Science Bernard Moore.   Executive Director of the non-profit think tank Second Chance for Social Justice, Moore is a policy advisor to caucus member Danny Davis.

In January 1969, newly elected African American representatives of the 77th Congress joined six incumbents to form the Democratic Select Committee to address legislative concerns of black and minority citizens.  The Committee was renamed the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1971.

The vision of the founding members of the CBC, to “promote the public welfare through legislation designed to meet the needs of millions of neglected citizens,” continues today.  Its members have been at the forefront of legislative campaigns for human and civil rights for all citizens.

A reception in the Paresky Student Center will follow the discussion.

The event is sponsored by The W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program in Democratic Studies. the Office of the President, Africana Studies, the Multicultural Center, and the Claiming Williams initiative.

Congratulations to Bernard Moore and everyone else who helped to pull this together.

Will any of our readers be attending? Please report back with your thoughts and impressions in the comments thread below (keep discussions on-topic, please).

Will video be available, maybe from C-SPAN? I don’t know. It’s a shame there isn’t a prominent link to a live stream included with the press release.

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