CBCF Statement on the Passing of CBC Founding Member Louis Stokes

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Legendary congressman dies at age 90

A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) today released the following statement on the death of Rep. Louis Stokes at age 90.

“Our hearts are heavy today over the passing of Rep. Louis Stokes. We are praying for his family, and the CBCF’s thoughts are with every person touched by his great legacy of leadership.

“Rep. Stokes was the epitome of a trailblazer. He successfully became the first black man elected to Congress from Ohio. He joined 12 congressional members to establish the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), where he championed equal rights, protections and justice for all people.

“Rep. Stokes fought tirelessly to boost African-American representation in healthcare policy to help eliminate health disparities globally. As a result, the CBCF’s Louis Stokes Health Policy Fellowship was formed. And today, two CBCF fellows are receiving training under this initiative. The CBCF also named a scholarship in Mr. Stokes’ honor for students entering the health workforce.

“Mr. Stokes will always be remembered for his service. In 1971, Rep. Stokes and the CBC gave President Nixon 60 recommendations for government action on domestic and international issues. In 1986, he and other CBC members were influential in getting the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 passed in Congress.

“His 30 years of public service to the state of Ohio and the Black community continues to leave an indelible mark on emerging young leaders and public servants following in his footsteps."

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Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez
since: 07/2009
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