“My goal is to raise scholarship funds for CBC programs; we award more than 50 unique scholarships a year, for students in everything from the performing arts to online universities,” said Meeks of the fundraiser, which will be held in the marble atrium of the National Museum for Women in the Arts.

Meeks lives in New York and works full time for the New York Academy of Medicine, so the decision to take on a leadership role was a significant investment of time and travel.

“There was a time when congressional spouses went to Washington with their husband and supported them full time,” she recalled, “and those women raised some outstanding people, like Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. [D-Ill.], Rep. Kendrick Meek [D-Fla.] and [former Rep.] Harold Ford [D-Tenn.], but those days are over.”

Meeks recounts how, as a little girl, she told her family she planned to be the first black female member of Congress. When she learned, two days before her wedding to Gregory, that he would be running for office, she was crushed. “It was like God played a cruel joke on me.”