Special to the Bulletin

WASHINGTON — Sharon Owens of Brownwood and Sandra Bradshaw of Bangs recently attended the African American Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

The two-day conference provided a forum for nearly 400 African American participants nationwide to discuss a range of policy issues with members of the United States Congress and cabinet officials. Conference participants were nominated to attend by their local member of Congress or state governor.

“This summit is an opportunity to join with leaders around the country to develop commonsense solutions that will empower American families to build a strong foundation of education and entrepreneurship for our sons and daughters and tomorrow’s generation of leaders,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).

A host of leaders from the U.S. Senate joined senior Bush administration officials to address the summit, including keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addressed the delegates and welcomed them to the summit. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) joined Sen. Hutchison in providing a congressional legislative update, then led a session on advancing a legacy of empowerment. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) spoke on initiatives to narrow the education achievement gap, and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) outlined plans for expanded access to affordable, innovative health care.

Participants also discussed new legislative proposals for continued economic growth, and they engaged in informative question and answer sessions following each panel.

Other speakers included Admiral John Agwunobi, M.D., assistant secretary for health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Ronald Langston, national director, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce; Stephanie Watkins, regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; and Dr. Louis Sullivan, president emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.