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Tennesseans to lead National Black Caucus

NASHVILLE – The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will be led by Tennessee Rep. Joe Armstrong (D-Knoxville), who will serve as president of the organization over the next two years.

Joining Armstrong in leading the group will be Rep. Karen Camper (D-Memphis) who will continue to serve as Region IV Chair (Ky., Tenn., Va., and W.Va.), as well as Rep. Brenda Gilmore and Rep. Johnny Shaw, who will serve as Executive Committee members at-large. Allyson Sneed, legislative assistant to Rep. Shaw, will serve as chair of the staff organization.

"I am honored to be chosen by my peers to serve as the President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators," said Rep. Armstrong. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to expand the caucus and find new and better ways to serve our African-American constituencies."

NBCSL, founded in 1977, is an organization dedicated to developing and promoting educational, research and training programs to help African-American legislators be more effective when considering and introducing legislation that affects their constituents.

"This is a great opportunity for me to be a voice for rural African-Americans within the Black Caucus," said Rep. Shaw. "I hope to use this opportunity to inform other legislators about the work we've done in Tennessee, and to learn from my colleagues how we can be more effective in our state."

In addition to a newly elected board, NBCSL has for the first time allocated funds to the regional chairs for the purpose of promoting policy engagement between the states.

"I am grateful to be chosen by my peers to once again serve as Regional Chair," said Rep. Camper. "I am excited about the opportunity to use these new resources to work with other states in our area so that we can learn from each other about the best ways to help improve the lives of our constituents."

Too often the needs of African-Americans are neglected by state legislatures, said Rep. Gilmore. "By amplifying our voices through NBCSL, we can ensure that important issues and programs are not forgotten as we work to make our states better places for all."

The new NBCSL Executive Committee will take effect on February 1, 2013.

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