African-American Leaders Honor Rep. Donald Payne

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President Barack Obama

"By any standard, Don lived a full and meaningful life. After serving as the first African-American president of the National Council of YMCAs, and then several years in local government, Don went on to become the first African-American Congressman to represent the state of New Jersey. In Washington, he made it his mission to fight for working families, increase the minimum wage, ensure worker safety, guarantee affordable health care and improve the educational system. He was a leader in U.S.-Africa policy, making enormous contributions towards helping restore democracy and human rights across the continent.”

(Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

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