ICYMI: Butler Marks Black History Month As 3rd Black Woman To Serve In Senate

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) concluded a month full of events in observance of Black History Month.

“Every year, Black History Month presents an opportunity to honor the legacy, contributions, and rich history of Black Americans and how they have shaped our country,” said Senator Butler. “I want to be sure that we continue to uplift and empower Black communities not just in February, but every day and every month, and that we commit ourselves to advancing true equality and opportunity for all Americans.”

Senate Passage of Black History Month Resolution

The month began with Butler joining Senators Booker (D-NJ) and Warnock (D-GA) in applauding passage of a bipartisan resolution celebrating Black History Month. The resolution recognizes that all Americans benefit from the rich historical legacy of Black culture and recognizes Black History Month as a chance to reflect on the complex history of the nation while also continuing to work toward a more equitable future. Furthermore, the resolution acknowledges the suffering of African Americans during enslavement and the continued racial injustices that remain evident in the United States today.

Senators Butler and Britt Join the HBCU Caucus

Earlier this week, Senators Butler and Katie Britt (R-AL) announced that they would be joining the Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) Caucus which fosters partnership and collaboration between HBCUs and the federal government. Originally founded in 2015, the Caucus has grown to over 100 members in the Senate and the House and continues to be an important voice in ensuring HBCUs receive the investment and support they need to thrive.

HBCUs play a key role in making higher education more equitable. There are 107 HBCUs across the country that enroll over 300,000 students every year and serve a majority of low-income and first-generation college attendees. These schools not only provide a quality education but create the network and pathways necessary for career advancement and social mobility, and help build a workforce that is diverse in background and lived experience. Additionally, HBCUs serve as important educational centers of culture, heritage, and critical perspectives. Over the years, congressional support of HBCUs has manifested in securing federal funding, launching ROTC programs for aspiring pilots, and fostering the legacy and tradition of these institutions across the country.

Senator Butler Speaks with Jen Psaki as Third Black Woman Senator

In her interview with Inside with Jen Psaki, Senator Butler spoke at Howard University about her experience as the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate, the importance of holding that space, and the barriers Black women still face in politics. Butler touched upon the community of HBCUs and how this has shaped how she shows up in the world—including her commitment to the younger generation and making sure that their top priorities are her top priorities by continuing the work of listening to young people all across California.

Senator Butler Kicks Off Banned Books Series on Senate Floor

To close out Black History Month, Senator Butler kicked off a banned book reading series where she will regularly head to the Senate floor to read an excerpt from a banned book to highlight the various attacks on literature in libraries and schools throughout the country. She began this series by reading a passage from Sister Outsider by Audre Lord, which was banned in Tennessee due to LGBTQ+ related content. Butler intends to draw attention to the importance of transparent and open access to literature and showcase the value that these works add to the collective education and understanding of our nation’s shared history.



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