Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (V.I.), a member of the House Ways and Means, Budget and Agriculture committees, released the following statement regarding the inaugural Congressional Caucus on Black Innovation (CBI), along with her colleagues and CBI co-chairs, Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Armed Services Committees and Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15), a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and Homeland Security:
“I am tremendously pleased to be a co-chair of the newly formed Congressional Caucus on Black Innovation. My colleagues and I created this initiative in Congress out of great urgency and action. Our caucus has been encouraged by many in the tech industry, other legislators and President Biden who have engaged in ways to create opportunities along with the great advocacy of the Black Innovation Alliance (BIA), and organizations that work to identify and address the challenging economic and financial realities of Black innovators.
“There is an incredible amount of talented Black founders, creatives and innovators, yet the cross-sector trends and research show that even in the world of creative technology, bias is preventing Black innovators from equitable footing, competition and autonomy. I and my colleagues firmly believe in the importance of Black innovators to the advancement of American economic growth, technological advancement, continued creativity and positive social impact. I look forward to dynamic collaboration amongst my colleagues to advance the goal of Black founders and innovators having equitable access.”
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) shared, “I am honored to serve as a co-chair of the inaugural Congressional Caucus on Black Innovation with Reps. Plaskett and Torres with support from the Black Innovation Alliance. We must acknowledge and address the barriers Black innovators face in our economy from limited access to capital to undue and discriminatory regulatory burdens. I am excited to work with my colleagues and industry as we craft legislation to achieve a more equitable and inclusive economy.”
Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15) shared, “American history contains no shortage of Black innovators who have left their marks often without recognition. I’m proud to stand with my fellow co-chairs in launching the Caucus on Black Innovation and kicking off Black Innovation Alliance’s Decade of Black Innovation. It is my hope that this caucus will become a space for new innovation pioneers to access the resources they need to reinvigorate our economy with their ideas and form meaningful connections with other innovators. One of our nation’s greatest strengths is our diversity, and we must ensure that our world-class innovative industries reflect that diversity.”
CBI exists to engage policymakers to advance the technological, creative, economic and social impacts of Black innovators across industries and will officially launch next Tuesday, April 26, at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill with a day-long event that includes a press conference, briefing and afternoon reception.
For more information on the inaugural Congressional Caucus on Black Innovation, visit: https://blackinnovationalliance.com/cbi