Baltimore, Maryland is the place of Kweisi Mfume’s birth and also the place where he acquired his formal education. After that, he actively sought out opportunities to make a good difference in the world and shape public policy.
Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland, is where he completed his undergraduate studies, and he graduated with honors. Some time later, he returned to the university to teach part-time in the political science and communications departments. For 2013, he has been designated as the University’s Alumnus of the Year.
As he grew more active in the community and took on more duties, Mfume honed his skills as an activist, radio commentator, manager, and TV personality. He didn’t be elected to the Baltimore City Council until he was 31 years old.
Over the course of his seven years in municipal office, he was a driving force behind efforts to boost diversity at city hall, improve security in residential areas, expand commercial opportunities, and cut ties between city coffers and the apartheid government of South Africa. He also presided over the City Council’s Committee on Health Policy.
He got a master’s degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in International Studies from Johns Hopkins Institution, where he also taught at the university. After finishing high school in 1984, he got his diploma. He has spent his whole life involved in the Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University alumnus societies.
He gained elected to Congress with a landslide at the age of 38 and remained there through the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
During his term in the House of Representatives, Congressman Mfume played an important role on a number of different committees. He was the most powerful person in both the Banking and Financial Services Committee and the General Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In addition, he served on the Committee on Education and as a senior member of the Small Business Committee, where he was able to influence policy and make contributions to the development of the business and manufacturing communities.
The Speaker of the House assigned him to the House-Senate Joint Economic Committee and the Ethics Committee during his third term as a Representative. Time passed, and eventually he was chosen to preside over the Joint Economic Committee.
Throughout her time in the House, Mfume was a leader in the fight for social justice and economic equality. He dedicated his life to furthering these interests. He fought to improve the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and wrote and got through an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1991 that included safeguards for Americans working for international branches of American firms. He helped get the Americans with Disabilities Act through Congress and fought to make the Equal Credit Opportunity Act more effective. As for his other causes, he campaigned for the federal criminalization of stalking and the ban on assault weapons.
Rep. Mfume rose through the ranks of the Congressional Black Caucus, beginning as Vice-Chair before eventually becoming Chairman. For an extended period of time, he held the position of Speaker Pro Tempore in the House of Representatives. The Democratic Caucus elected him Vice-Chairman for Communications during his sixth term in office, a position that greatly increased his influence and profile. He was serving his sixth term at the time of this appointment.
Kweisi Mfume, who was elected to Congress with a large majority, stepped down as president and CEO of the NAACP in February 1996. During that period, he played a crucial role in elevating the NAACP to national prominence and restoring the organization to its rightful place as one of the nation’s oldest civil rights groups.
He sought greater civil rights enforcement from both the government and the corporate sector, as well as pushed for economic equality for all people, worked to enhance education and healthcare in neglected communities, founded 75 new NAACP chapters at colleges around the nation, and more.
The first “Network Television Diversity Agreements” were drafted and negotiated by Mfume in the year 2000 with major networks. He pushed hard in 2003 for the NAACP to be recognized by the United Nations as a legitimate non-governmental organization, giving it access to funding and other benefits. As it turned out, he was right.
He served on the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees for a total of 12 years after being honored as “Marylander of the Year” by both the Baltimore Sun and Maryland Magazine.
He presided over the National Medical Association (NMA), the nation’s oldest organization of African American physicians, as its president in 2010 and 2011. The National Medical Association (NMA) has been advocating for the best interests of both patients and doctors since its foundation in 1895.
In the wake of his resignation, he began working as a corporate business consultant for AT&T in North America. Later in 2011, he joined the National Advisory Council for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), which is part of the National Institutes of Health. As of2014, he was no longer employed at the National Institutes of Health, where he had worked for the preceding four years.
On May 5, 2020, after winning a special election to finish out the remaining two years of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ tenure, Mfume was sworn in as a member of the 116th Congress. For 42 years, Congressman Cummings served as Mfume’s friend and political heir. In the month of January,2020, Cummings died away. After that, Mfume was reelected to serve out the rest of his original term in the 117th Congress. The Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act, which requires pharmaceutical companies to use a diverse patient population in federally funded clinical trials, was one of his many legislative victories during his time in office. Another was the codification and tripling of the budget of the only federal agency tasked with promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses (the Minority Business Development Agency). The following are only a few of his numerous legislative achievements: thousands of millions retrieved
Oversight and Reform, Education and Labor, and the Small Business Committees all have him as a member or vice chair. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Caucus to Reduce Military Spending, and the Congressional Caucus for Historically Black Colleges and Universities all include him as a member.
Mfume is presently serving as the chairman of the board of regents at Morgan State University in addition to having been appointed to the post of member of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture by the governor of Maryland. He’s a former associate of the Association of Former Members of Congress as well as a current member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Gamma Boulé Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. And that’s not all: he’s also a member of the 33° Prince Hall Affiliation of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Over the past two decades, he has lectured at numerous American colleges and universities, corporations, medical associations, and bar associations on a wide range of topics, including American history, politics, diversity, compliance, health policy, health care disparities, tolerance, and the new challenges of gender and race.
After college, he spent twenty years working in radio and television broadcasting. For three years, he presided over “The Remarkable Journey,” a syndicated television show that originally aired on NBC and Hearst. Entertainment Weekly named him one of the “101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment” in the year 2000. He was selected for this distinction. It was when he was serving in Congress that he received the NAACP’s highest honor for national leadership: the Image Award. In 2005, for his work on the documentary “Ticket to Freedom,” he won the Telly Award for outstanding television documentary. He has performed oratory pieces on stage twice with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and soprano Kathleen Battle. They are both native Baltimoreans.
Innumerable news and current affairs shows, such as 60 Minutes, ABC’s This Week, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Meet the Press, The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, Nightline with Ted Koppel, and hundreds of others, have featured him as a guest on their programs. He has never ceased lobbying for political parties of both parties to unite on attempts to solve important social, economic, educational, and healthcare challenges.
Mfume has received honorary doctorates from the following institutions: Brandeis University, the University of Maryland, Loyola University Maryland, The University of the Virgin Islands, Meharry Medical College, Morgan State University, Morehouse College, Maryland Institute and College of Art, Sojourner Douglass College, Washington College, and Howard University.
Numerous proclamations and prizes are among the many honours and recognitions he has earned. His autobiography, titled “No Free Ride,” was published in New York, New York by Ballantine Books (Random House), and it was a best-seller for some time.