NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Dinner Celebrates Activism, Achievements and Excellence

By Lynn Jones – Founded in 1909, this is the 106th year of the NAACP’s fight against racism and discrimination in all forms. Last week, the Jacksonville Chapter of the NAACP held their Annual Freedom Fund Awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency to a sold out audience to celebrate Jacksonville’s citizens of influence in shaping our city’s culture.

The Jacksonville Branch has been active since 1917 and the community contributions and support have been invaluable to the continued existence.  This year’s Freedom Fund and Awards Dinner speaker was NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks who inspired and encourages the audience to remain steadfast as agents of change.

Local news station WJXT anchors Melanie Lawson and Tarik Minor served as co-hosts for the annual affair.  Jacksonville NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin gave a powerful president’s message, “If you are not a member of the NAACP, I urge you to join. We need your help in this ongoing fight for human dignity, equality and respect.” Following the president’s speech NAACP Freedom Fund Awardees were presented with their awards. Award Receipts honorees include: NAACP Lifetime Member Mrs. Jacquelyn Holmes (Presidents Award of Excellence); CEO, Thompson Consultants Ms. Deborah Thompson (Rutledge H. Pearson Civil Rights Award); Reverend Mark L. Griffin (Sallye B. Mathis Community Service Award); Bishop John E. Gunns (Willye Dennis Civic Engagement Award); NAACP Education Committee Chairperson Ms. Elnora Atkins (Olivia Gay-Davis Education Achievement Award); APEL Health Services Center CEO Mr. Kenneth J. Stokes (Elizabeth Means Health Achievement Award); Raines High School ROTC Student Jamecia Daniels (Major Allen Rogers ROTC Achievement Award). SMV photos

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