The Jacksonville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its 54th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner last week at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk.
This year’s speaker was Hilary O. Shelton, the NAACP’s Washington Bureau Director. “Mr. Shelton’s motivating and informative speech gave us a blueprint for the upcoming election year and our efforts to stem the tide of voter suppression and get people registered to vote. It was a rousing success. We thank the Jacksonville community for supporting Jacksonville’s foremost civil rights organization,” said Isaiah Rumlin, the president of the Jacksonville Branch.
The dinner also celebrates local achievers in addition to new life members. The 2019 awardees are: Minerva Faire (Rutledge H. Pearson Civil Rights Award), Sheila Brown-Jefferson (Sallye B. Mathis Community Serice Award), Ben Frazier (Willye F. Dennis Civic Engagement Award), Beverly Shields (Olivia Gay-Davis Education Award), Rene’e Austin Harris (Elizabeth Means Health Award) and Cadet Christian Boggan (Major Allan Rogers ROTC Award).
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The Jacksonville Branch NAACP began in February 1917 under the national leadership of native son James Weldon Johnson.