House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and a dozen other lawmakers are scheduled to visit Italy and Ghana on a taxpayer-funded trip.
BizPac Review reports the Office of the Speaker announced the trip will occur next week as it “coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first slaves from Africa arriving on American shores.”
From the U.S. Army Africa Headquarters in Italy, the Democratic delegation will then head to Ghana where Pelosi will give an address in their national legislature.
High-level discussions are planned with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and other senior government officials. Pelosi is expected to address the Ghanaian Parliament.
The group will visit “The Door of No Return,” an infamous portal that slaves stepped through to board ships en route to North and South America. By the 18th century, 30,000 slaves stepped through the portal annually, according to historians.
Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Karen Bass, who is joining Pelosi on the trip, called the trip “important” and said it sends “a signal of mutual respect and partnership to Ghana and the continent of Africa as a whole.”
“400 years ago this year, our ancestors were first brought to this continent in chains. On this delegation, 12 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will return to the African continent as Members of the United States Congress,” Bass said via BizPac Review. “We have come so far but we still have so far to go. Among the history being made this trip, I am very much also looking forward to witnessing the first woman Speaker of the United States House of Representatives address the Ghanaian parliament. I thank Speaker Pelosi for leading this important trip and for joining us in sending a signal of mutual respect and partnership to Ghana and the continent of Africa as a whole.”
Majority Whip James Clyburn, also accompanying Pelosi, echoed: “As the founding chair of the International African American Museum, which is being built on Gadsden Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina where approximately 50 percent of enslaved Africans arrived in this country, it is particularly meaningful to me to join the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and many of my African American colleagues in visiting Ghana’s Door of No Return.”
“I consider this to be a fitting and proper way to commemorate the 400th year since the enslaved people were forced to leave their homeland and sent in bondage to the New World. I seek to pay homage to the sacrifices of our African ancestors and honor the contributions they made to building the United States of America,” he added per the report.
According to the report, the Democrats traveling in the group will include:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- House Majority Whip James Clyburn
- Congressman John Lewis
- Congressman Bobby Rush
- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee
- Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
- Congressman Hank Johnson
- Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
- Congresswoman Karen Bass
- Congresswoman Terri Sewell
- Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
- Congresswoman Joyce Beatty
- Congresswoman Ilhan Omar