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December 10-12, 1977
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Washington, D. C.

Ms. Florine James, Ohio

Mrs. Jettie M. Brown

Mrs. Juanita Dandridge
Washington, D. C.

Mrs. Yvonne Brassfield

Mrs. Helena Mons

Mrs. Susie M. Padgett

Rev. C. K. Barnwell

Mrs. Hattie Webster

Mrs. Ann Williams 
North Carolina

Mrs. Rebecca Taylor
North Carolina

Nolan Padgett
Nelis J. Carr
Shelley Washington
Washington, D. C.

Mrs. Helena R. Mons
Nelis J. Carr

Fifth Annual National Convention

Of the National Black women's political leadership Caucus, during its Fifth annual National Convention, held on Dec. 10-12 in the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel, adopted some powerful resolutions and set forth an agenda for presentation to President-Elect Jimmy Carter.

Dr. Nelis James Saunders, Mich., Founder and National Chairperson of the Caucus, delivered her annual address at the opening session on Friday morning. Workshops were the highlight of activities on Saturday morning and immediately following the luncheon.

"We greet you with the kind of sophistication that does not stand in the background and ask when to speak or act; but with the power vested in us by more than 2000 Black Women, Men and Youth, who are concerned and want a transition from promise to performance on the part of our President-Elect Carter," said Dr. Saunders.

Further, she reminded the delegates and visitors that "politics is the keystone of our American Democratic system. Our system of government is based on politics and our lives are affected by government and politics. In my opinion, everyone has a stake in politics. It is a part of our life and time.

"If women are to seize the opportunities they have in politics, they must be interested in it enough to become involved. The American woman of the 1970s is in every endeavor of society. She can, if she wishes, take an active role in almost anything.

"This includes the homemaker, as well as those who are not homemakers in the old sense of the word and others who are able to combine that role with a career in business, education and the professions. The role of leadership is open and this also means the area of politics," continued Dr. Saunders.

Dr. Saunders told the audience that "It was on Dec. 28, 1974 when the National Black Women's Political Leadership announced 'support' for Jimmy Carter for President. It was not popular for such a move and much resentment was expressed by members of the Caucus as well as others in the audience. However, we held the line and maintain our position for support throughout the campaign for Carter.

The National Black Women's Political Leadership Caucus has an investment in Mr. Carter. Why and how? Because our members in 33 states worked untiringly for his election to office; because we gave support in the form of funds and warm bodies preceding election day and at the polls on election day.

Dr. Saunders also reported some of the accomplishments of the organization during the past five years, such as playing a key role in the election of members and non-members to public office, the appointment of Blacks to boards and commissions on the local, county, state and national levels. 1976 saw more than 230 of our members elected as Precinct delegates, Ward Chairman in various cities added Thousands to the nationwide registration. The Black voting strength, we know, was the decisive factor in the recent presidential election. We witnessed the power of the ballot."

"The Role of Blacks In The 1976 Political Arena: Elections" was the theme for the year and the conventions programs were centered around same.

Dr. Flossie M. Dedmond, Md., Dean of the Arts and Sciences Division at the Coppin State College, Baltimore, delivered the keynote address at the luncheon on Friday, when national officers of the Youth-Auxiliary, Older Americans and Men's Auxiliary were installed and honored.

Mrs. Velma M. Strode, D.C., Director of Equal Employment Opportunity Department Of Labor, was keynote speaker for the Founders' luncheon on Saturday. Highlighting the Bicentennial banquet on Saturday evening was Dr. Leon Perry, Md., Public Affairs officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Mrs. Constance Hines, Convention Chairperson, presided at the welcome program; Mrs. J. Bernice S. Hunley, Md., national coordinator of Workshops and Conferences for the Caucus, presided at the Friday luncheon and Mrs. Grace W. Phillips presided at the banquet.

Mrs. Sylvia J. Penton, Mich., national chairperson of the "Black Men We Love You" reception, and Mrs. Brenda Morant, D. C., local chairperson, were in charge of the activities, held in the Gold Room of the Rayburn Office Building (Capitol Hill). More than 200 men were recipients of special tributes.

The Rev. Annie Woodridge, Minister at the Saint Anne's Baptist Church, D. C., delivered the sermon at the services Sunday morning. The choir of her church furnished music.

Mrs. Claudette Cos was in charge of the workshops. Moderators and panelists were in charge of five workshops, namely, "The Economic Picture: Small Business Enterprises"; "Care for Adults and Children"; "Christian Education and Politics"; "The Political Process."

Convention participants, who played a key role, also included James Pearson, D. C., National coordinator of the Sergeants-at-arms; Lazarus Hines, D. C., national coordinator of finances; John Speed, Md., national advisor to the boys; James Tyner, D. C., national chairperson of transportation; Mrs. Maye C. Smith, chairperson of Founders' luncheon; Mrs. Lillian J. Huff, chairperson of host Caucus; Mrs. Lena Felder, Md., Chairperson of the Baltimore Caucus; Mrs. Eva W. Mack, Fla., Chairperson of the West Palm Beach Caucus, delivered a message on Saturday afternoon.

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