New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver will be honored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) on September 18 at its 40th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Speaker Oliver will receive the prestigious Phoenix Award during the ceremonial dinner, along with three other honorees: Harry Belafonte, actor and humanitarian; Simeon Booker, renowned journalist; and Judith Jamison, choreographer.

According to the CBCF, the award is given “to those whom have made significant contributions to society, and symbolizing the immortality of the human spirit and an eternal desire to reach its full potential.” Recent past recipients of the award include Wyclef Jean, humanitarian; Cicely Tyson, actress; and then-Senator Barack Obama.

“I am truly honored to be receiving the Phoenix Award from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,” said Speaker Oliver. “It is indeed humbling to receive this recognition and to be included with this year’s group of honorees as well as earlier recipients.”

The awards ceremony and dinner serves as the grand finale for the CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference, which is scheduled from September 15-18 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Vision, Continuing the Journey, Advancing the Mission,” provides guidance for meeting the challenges and opportunities facing the country and present a new way forward. Rep. Donald M. Payne, who represents the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey, is chair of CBCF’s board of directors.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. was established in 1976 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities. For more information about the CBCF, visit www.cbcfinc.org.

Speaker Oliver took the oath of office as New Jersey’s 169th Assembly Speaker on Jan. 12, 2010, and presides over the 214th Assembly. She is the first African-American woman to lead a legislative house in New Jersey, and the second African-American woman in American history to do so. She was first elected to the Assembly in 2003, and re-elected in 2005, 2007 and 2009. She represents the 34th Legislative District, which includes Clifton, East Orange, Glen Ridge, Montclair, and Woodland Park.