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WHO:                                    Texas Legislative Black Caucus Members from Dallas/Fort Worth area

WHAT:     The Texas Legislative Black Caucus will host a Town Hall meeting to provide the community an opportunity to discuss major legislative changes which will influence their communities.  This Town Hall will serve as a legislative wrap-up where Members will showcase highlights from the previous session.

 This meeting will also allow for the community to provide input into items from which the Governor called a Special Session.  Participants will have the opportunity to get more information on what lies ahead for the Special Session.

This will be an in-depth conversation benefitting all those in attendance with the most current information on the recent actions from the Texas Legislature.

WHEN:                                  Monday, June 26th from 6:00PM to 8:00PM


University of North Texas at Dallas

Founder’s Hall

7300 University Hills Boulevard

Dallas, Texas 75241


To All Interested High School Students:

The Texas Legislative Black Caucus is pleased to provide scholarship opportunities that will help give a financial boost to qualified high school students who are graduating in May 2017, and plan to attend college in the Fall 2017.

Our Caucus is happy to announce the process and timeline for the selection of our inaugural TLBC scholarship recipients. We aim to ensure that we have a process with a high degree of integrity that will help select a special and qualified group of deserving students.

Each Caucus member will have 3 scholarship recipients from their respective Districts who each will receive a scholarship award of $1,500. In addition, each Caucus member’s highest ranked applicant will have an opportunity to receive one of the six – $4,000 TLBC Scholarships.

In the enclosed documents, please find a detailed timeline for the selection process, as well as the scholarship application form. As noted, all scholarship applicants please mail completed applications and the necessary additional documents

2017 TLBC Scholarship Application

Texas Legislative Black Caucus 

1108 Lavaca, Suite 110, PMB 171 

Austin, TX 78701-2172   


*All Scholarship Applications & Additional Required Documents must be received by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus no later than February 5, 2017.*

Formal presentation of the scholarships to successful award recipients will take place at the TLBC Scholarship Banquet on February 27, 2017 at 7pm in the Governors  Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Austin.





Saturday’s unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial at the Capitol could have been a somber occasion – a reflection on centuries of slavery and legalized oppression. Instead, it was a moment of rejoicing for the hundreds of guests, who celebrated how so many had overcome deep struggles and how the event appealed to a better future.

State officials and other special guests, including benefactors, revealed the memorial on the south lawn of the Capitol, a feat that comes more than two decades after lawmakers first pushed for the bronze and granite monument to African-Americans in Texas.

“This has not been an easy journey,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former member of the Texas House who helped secure funding for the memorial. “And I’m not referring to the raising of money or to the construction of this monument. I am talking about the history of African-Americans of the state of Texas and where we are today.”

Turner said that while many often focus on current struggles, it’s important to look back and see how far the state and its residents have come.

The journey “began a long time ago in this state. And look at where we are today. I think that speaks volumes.”

The 27-foot high, 32-foot wide monument depicts Juneteenth – June 19, 1865 – when hundreds of Union troops arrived in Texas and announced the freedom of slaves in the U.S., along with major social, political and cultural icons in the state from years later. The structure also portrays the cattle, cotton and oil industries and black Texans’ role in advancing them. Ed Dwight, a Denver-based sculptor, proposed the monument to mark the history of black people in Texas, a history that pre-dates the United States.

Dwight had three jobs, said Bill Jones, chairman of the Texas African American History Memorial Foundation: create a memorial that is historically accurate, aesthetically pleasing and has emotional impact.

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AUSTIN (November 25, 2014) The Texas Legislative Black Caucus said Tuesday that a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager to death in Ferguson, Mo., “is the latest incident to sound the alarm about injustice in our criminal justice system.”

“This recurrent theme of injustice in our great land is the single largest impediment to true progress that we have and will continue to face, said Murry Matthews, the director of the caucus.

After hearing months of testimony and deliberating for two days, the grand jury decided Monday not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18.

The announcement of the decision Monday night triggered sometimes violent protests.

“The unjustified killing of African Americans by those whose mission is ‘to protect and serve’ must stop,” Matthews said.

“The eyes of the world are now fixed on our country, and what we will do as a nation to address the problems within our criminal justice system,” he said.

(This article is courtesy of KWTX news)



Dr. Kneeland Youngblood- 2

Dr. Kneeland C. Youngblood , who currently resides in Dallas and was born in Galena Park, is co-founder and managing partner of Pharos Capital Group, a private equity fund with over $1.4 Billion in assets under management. Since Pharos Capital Group’s founding in 1998, the investment firm has focused on investing in undercapitalized businesses in underserved regions across America. Prior to a successful career in investment banking, Dr. Youngblood served as a physician with more than 15 years of experience in emergency medicine. While in the medical field, Dr. Youngblood served on the Task Force on National Health Care Reform in President Clinton’s administration.

As a young man attending Princeton University, Youngblood followed his convictions by participating in a sit-in calling for Princeton to divest from apartheid-South Africa. Later in life, he would go on to meet President Nelson Mandela in his capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Enrichment Corporation.

After embarking on his successful business career, Dr. Youngblood has been involved in many profitable ventures. In addition, his business acumen and knowledge have come to the recognition of many Fortune 500 companies, as indicated with his service on the Board of Directors of companies such as The Gap, Inc., Burger King Corporation, Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and the American Beacon Funds.

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State Representative Sylvester Turner (Houston) today urged qualified low-income Texans to enroll in LITE-UP Texas, a program authorized by the Texas Legislature through which participants can reduce the monthly cost of their electric service by 82%.


“I want to ensure that everyone who is eligible for this discount, particularly senior citizens, is aware of it and can receive it,” said Turner. “For example, a customer who receives a bill for $100.00 in May, June, July or August will only have to pay $18.00 based on the 82% discount. This is significant and could literally mean the difference between whether these families can put food on the tables during the hottest months of the year.


“Please call the PUC today to enroll so you can get your discount as soon as possible.”


The LITE-UP Texas program is designed to help qualified low-income individuals who live in areas where they can choose their own electricity provider to reduce their monthly cost of electric service.  Customers qualify if they currently receive Texas Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Customers can also self-enroll if their household income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty guideline, which equates to a family of four having an income of $29,000.


During the last legislative session, Rep. Turner led the effort to win approval from the 83rd Texas Legislature to make profound changes to the LITE-UP Texas program, increasing the discount from 10% to 82%.  For example, a provider of last resort rate of 14 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) would be discounted by 11.48 cents per kWh.  The discount will be effective May through August 2014 and will appear on customers’ bills for the month following their meter readings for those months.  The program will permanently end on September 1, 2016.


Turner said that 85% of Texans who qualify for the program are enrolled automatically, but many qualified families are missed.


“It is important to get all eligible people enrolled into the program so that they can receive the benefits,” Turner said.  “The legislature approved this increased discount because we understand how desperately our most vulnerable Texans need this help.  I don’t want to see anyone who qualifies overlooked.”


Individuals not currently participating in the LITE-UP Texas program can obtain a self-enrollment application by contacting the PUC toll-free at 1-800-454-8387 or visiting the PUC’s website,


As the current 82nd Session begins to heat up in earnest, Texas Legislative Black Caucus members hold key committee assignments with the ability to influence key decisions on legislative matters.

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The Texas Legislative Black Caucus is pleased to announce a special guest for the African American Legislative Summit, acclaimed and reknowned actress Loretta Devine. Ms. Devine, a Houston-native, has appeared in over 93 films and television shows in a superb career that has spanned almost 30 years. She currently appears in the hit-TV show, Grey’s Anatomy and the all-time favorite Waiting to Exhale. Her roles have touched the lives of many and inspired countless others to pursue a craft that through her hard work she has made look very easy. At the Summit, the TLBC will name a scholarship in her honor to a worthy high school student who will attend college in the fall.


Houston UYA brings baseball to urban teens

By Moisekapenda Bower / Special to | 11/13/10 11:49 PM EST

For more information on Major League Baseball and the current activities of their Urban Youth Academies, please check out the MLB’s new UYA website at:

Check out the story below on MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in Houston at Sylvester Turner Park.
HOUSTON — Mornings like the one on Saturday return Daryl Wade to the days of his youth, and opportunities that slipped away while reared in Acres Homes.

Middle schools in this urban neighborhood did not offer baseball to students, so those accustomed to playing Little League were forced into a temporary hiatus lifted only when they came of age in high school. For Wade, those three years lost were critical to his development, and likely spelled the difference between his flourishing as a teenager instead of as a sophomore first baseman at Paul Quinn College.

If there was a facility where Wade could have honed his skills as an adolescent, perhaps he might have burnished his abilities at a younger age and blazed an altogether different career path, one completely entrenched in baseball.

The Houston UYA hosted more than 130 local teens during a showcase. (Daryl Wade/Houston Urban Youth Academy)Wade could not help but contemplate what might have been as he gushed over what was. As the manager of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, Wade beamed with pride as the seven-month-old facility hosted more than 130 local teenagers in a showcase orchestrated by two dozen scouts representing 26 franchises. When Wade accepted the position as manager of the Houston UYA, he had intimate knowledge of the influence it could have in Acres Homes.

“It’s a major impact,” Wade said. “There are kids out here who can play. A lot of the volunteers who are involved are former Little Leaguers from this community that I played with back in the day. It’s a great impact.”

The Houston UYA is the second of its kind developed by MLB, joining an academy built in Compton, Calif., more than four years ago. The Compton UYA has been wildly successful at connecting urban youth with baseball through multiple avenues from the 50 Academy alums playing professional baseball, the 150 who have earned college scholarships, and the 25 umpires and 10 groundskeepers in the Minor Leagues.

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Texas lawmakers challenged by budget shortfalls
Jewish Herald Voice
Thu, Dec 09, 2010
Budget issues will dominate the upcoming legislative session in Austin, according to a veteran lawmaker.
Texas state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, at a sit-down meeting with local American Jewish Committee board members on Nov. 30, outlined a list of challenges facing the Texas House when it returns for the 82nd Legislative Session Jan. 11.
“We will have some tough issues. The budget being number one,” Tur-ner said. “When I say budgeting, I include education and all of those issues under budgeting.”
Other chal-lenges addressed at the meeting included redistricting, immigration and calendaring. The race for the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, and Turner’s own political future, also were discussed.
Texas will start the upcoming legislative session with an $18 billion to $25 billion budget shortfall. The state’s Republican governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker – bolstered by a new 99-51 GOP super majority in the House – have pledged to balance the budget without any new appreciable revenue enhancers, such as taxes.
“Not only will you have to cut to the bone, you’ll remove one or two bones in the process,” said Turner, whose 21 years in the Texas Legislature include a decade-long stint on the Appropriations Committee and a current seat on the Budget Board.
Turner compared the current budget challenges with those from 2003. At the time, he sat on the state’s Conference Committee, when Texas faced a $10 billion budget shortfall. The District 139 rep from Northwest Houston said the approach then was “zero-based budgeting.”
“We cut all the agencies down to zero, and we rebuilt them again, and the cuts were significant. Over 200,000 kids came off the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Thousands of state employees were laid off. We consolidated a number of agencies. And, it turned out in many ways to be a big mess. Over the last seven years, we’ve worked to reestablish the infrastructure,” Turner said.
“This time around, the challenge will be even greater,” he added.
“The decisions we make in this session, when you try to balance this budget without looking at any appreciable revenue enhancers, you are talking about handicapping this state for the next 10-plus years. Because where do you get the money?” he said.
Three options

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The Texas Legislative Black Caucus is pleased to announce that Debra Lee, the CEO and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (B.E.T.) is the keynote speaker for the TLBC Scholarship Banquet on February 28, 2011 at the 2011 African American Legislative Summit at the Sheraton Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.

At the TLBC Scholarship Banquet, there will be more than 50 scholarships awarded with maximum awards up to $4,000, for deserving graduating high school seniors. More information will be provided soon.

To register or for more information, please visit:  Click here now to register! You don’t want to miss this event!/

Please find below a brief biography about our distinguished keynote speaker, Debra Lee:

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The Texas Legislative Black Caucus is pleased to announce that Roland Martin, the acclaimed TV One Commentator & CNN analyst and native Texan, will be the guest speaker on Tuesday morning, March 1st, 2011 during the African American Summit at the Sheraton Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The African American Summit, on February 28th & March 1st 2011, will feature an array of thought provoking panels, discussions and a scholarship banquet. The Summit is the marquee event presented by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus during the biennial legislative sessions.

Our theme for the 2011 African American Legislative Summit is “African Americans Staying Relevant in the Midst of Changing Demographics,” and if any African American knows something about this topic then it is Roland Martin. You don’t want to miss this event.

You must register in order to participate in this wonderful event! Click here to register for the 2011 African American Legislative Summit presented by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.


Click here to Reserve your Room at the Sheraton Hotel at the Capitol for the Summit. Be at the Heart of the Action! Rates are $159/night if reserved by February 7, 2011

For more information on Roland Martin, please check out his biography below:

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Please join us on February 28th & March 1st, 2011 as the Texas Legislative Black Caucus proudly presents the 11th African American Summit in Austin, Texas. This perennial event brings

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Paul Quinn College was gazing into a future of uncertainty in June 2009 when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools withheld Paul Quinn College’s accreditation. Many of us could not bear to watch Dallas’s only historically black college fade into the dusty pages of our region’s history. Small colleges attract many first-generation and lower-income students in Texas and are a valuable asset to the community. It would be a great loss for Dallas and our state to see the doors close on a college which has opened a window of opportunity to so many. Moreover, when healthy, colleges and universities are economic engines. Paul Quinn can be an anchor for economic development in an area of blight. Recognizing the dire situation that the college was in, Representative Helen Giddings, in whose district the college is located, appealed to members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. With the leadership of Caucus Chairman Sylvester Turner, the group quickly mobilized and developed a strateegy. On July 13, 2009, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus visited the campus and began implementing a plan to get the college back on its feet.

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