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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Pandemic, social justice focus of annual Black History Celebration

President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators to give keynote address at virtual ceremony
Senate Minority Caucus Chair Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, comments on Senate Bill 67 in the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee during this year's legislative session. Thomas is a member of the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus.  

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The struggles and challenges that dominated news headlines over the past year now serve as the inspiration for this year’s Black History Celebration.
Hosted by the Kentucky Legislative Black Caucus, the 2021 Black History Celebration will be streamed online on Feb. 16. The celebration can be viewed online starting at 11:30 a.m. that day at
The theme for this year’s event is The Struggle Continues: Pandemics, Social Justice, Equity and COVID-19.
The event is usually held in the Capitol Rotunda and open to the public, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration will be held virtually. 
“The COVID-19 pandemic might change how we celebrate Black History this year, but it won’t stop us,” said Sen. Gerald Neal, a member of the Kentucky Legislative Black Caucus. “This event will hopefully bring us together and inspire us to keep moving forward on battling the coronavirus and injustice.”
Georgia State Rep. Billy Mitchell will give this year’s keynote address. Mitchell currently serves as the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Rep. Mitchell’s leads more than 700 members of the NBCSL who represent more than 60 million Black Americans. NBCSL serves as a national network, advocate, and catalyst for public policy innovation, information exchange, and joint action on critical issues affecting African Americans and other marginalized communities.
Rep. Mitchell is also the current Minority Caucus Chair for the Georgia General Assembly and has served as a state representative for Georgia’s 88th District since 2003. He has sponsored legislation to celebrate Black History and to allow advanced voting in Georgia.
“We are thrilled to have Rep. Mitchell join us at our celebration this year as we reflect on our past and look forward to the future,” said Rep. Reginald Meeks, chair of the Kentucky Legislative Black Caucus. 
The event will also feature remarks from members of the Kentucky General Assembly, including legislative leaders; Gov. Andy Beshear, and Chief Justice John D. Minton of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Music will be provided by the Kentucky State University Concert Choir and Mondre Moffett from Simmons College of Kentucky.

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