April 12, 2023
Contact: Shannon Augustus
(202) 768-9578
Media Advisory – DC Emancipation Day: Panel Discussion 

Sunday, April 16th, 2023 

WASHINGTON — In recognition of DC’s Emancipation Day, the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia and the League of Women Voters of the United States will co-host a panel discussion on DC Statehood.

April 16th is the celebration of President Lincoln’s District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed approximately 2,989 African Americans in the district in 1862 during the Civil War. More than 150 years later, residents in DC are still not afforded the same rights as their fellow citizens in other states.

This free event, organized by the League of Women Voters of the United States, will look at the DC statehood movement through a human rights and racial justice lens, featuring prominent DC leaders in the fight. Panelists are:

  • Virginia Kase Solomón – CEO, League of Women Voters of the United States
  • Jamal Holtz – Lead Organizer, 51 for 51 Statehood Campaign
  • Philip Pannell – Executive Director, Anacostia Coordinating Council
  • George Derek Musgrove –  Author, “Chocolate City” & UMBC Associate Professor
  • Jason Fink – Statehood Initiatives Director, DC Mayoral Office
  • Welcoming Remarks Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

This event will be moderated by League of Women Voters DMV regional organizer Nile Blass with welcoming remarks by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Date: Sunday, April 16th, 2023

Time: 6:30 PM-7:45 PM

Location: The Gathering Spot |1720 I Street Northwest Washington, DC 20006

 Notes for Media:

  • Media wishing to view the event can register here.
  • Panelists have some media availability following the event. Please contact the League of Women Voters press secretary, Shannon Augustus at if you are interested in speaking with a panelist.



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The League of Women Voters envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate. We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.