In the state of Florida, diversity, equity and inclusion has become very low on the priority list.
For hundreds of years, African Americans have had to fight for their civil rights on their jobs, for their families and now even for a spot in American history books for children. When President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, proclaiming that all persons held as slaves would be free, 160 years later, this milestone continues to be celebrated.
Hanging on to the namesakes that provided freedom to blacks from slavery, The Lincoln Douglas Emancipation Proclamation Association (LDEPA) held their inaugural banquet on the northside to celebrate the legacy of Black history. Founded over 80 years ago by humanitarian, philanthropist and business woman Eartha Mary Magdalene White, the banquet was designed to recognize individuals in the Duval community that continue to be a beacon, a leader and a person of service. The banquet agenda included a songfest from the Emmanuel Missionary church choir, dinner and presentation of awards.
“Following the legacy that Eartha White left behind for us to follow. We have to continue recognizing not only her legacy, but the legacy of others that paved the way in this city for civil rights in every arena,” said organizer Kiara Warren.
LDEPA’s vision and goal is to reach the disadvantaged, young and old for a better life through community based services. Members volunteer with veterans, college enrichment assistance and health care screenings based on age and gender.