Where Would We Be Without The Fight For Freedom?

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The Detroit Branch NAACP hosted the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall at our first Freedom Fund Dinner.  We continue on in a tradition of excellence and outstanding achievement as we welcome Vice President Joe Biden to deliver this year’s keynote remarks.

 

Vice President Joe Biden to Deliver Remarks at the Detroit Branch NAACP’s 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner

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The Detroit Branch NAACP held a press conference, Tuesday, April 7, announcing that Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. The Dinner will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at Cobo Conference Center in Detroit.

“We are extremely pleased that Vice President Joe Biden has accepted our invitation to come to the City of Detroit in celebration of the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner,” says Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP. “ As many may recall our first speaker was the Honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall.  It is historically inspiring that 60 years later a tradition of excellence and outstanding achievement in the cause of freedom and justice will be continued by our Vice President. We invite everyone to share in this historic moment.”

The theme for this year’s dinner, “Celebrating Freedom: Measured by Practice, Treasured by Sacrifice,” pays homage to 50 years since the historic march in Selma (Bloody Sunday) that paved the way for the signing of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965.

“General Motors is honored to support the Detroit Branch NAACP and all that it does to promote diversity and inclusion in our community,” says Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors Company and 2015 Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair.  “We salute Reverend Anthony and his team for their efforts.  We are also excited to have Vice President Biden deliver remarks and witness firsthand the comeback and teamwork throughout the City of Detroit.“

Additionally, Rev. Anthony announced this year’s special awardees.  They are:

  • Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Michigan, 13th District), who will receive the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • Attorney Benjamin Crump, who will receive the Ida B Wells Freedom and Justice Award;
  • Kary Moss, Executive Director, ACLU – Michigan, who will receive the Mary Church Terrell Freedom and Justice Award;
  • Jessica Care Moore, Artist, Activist and Creator of Black Women Rock, who will receive the Great Expectations Award; and
  • Kevin Tolbert, Executive Director, UAW-Ford, National Programs Center, who will receive the Great Expectations Award.

 

 

60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Adds Two More General Co-Chairs

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The Detroit Branch NAACP welcomed Leon C. Richardson, President and CEO, ChemicoMays, LLC and Pamela Rodgers, President, Rodgers Chevrolet to the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner leadership team.  Richardson and Rodgers will serve as General Co-Chairs.  They will join 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair, Mary T. Barra, CEO, General Motors Company; 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair, Dr. William Pickard, Global Automotive Alliance LLC and 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Charles Nolen, President, Michigan Black Bar Owners Association.

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Pamela Rodgers, President, Rodgers Chevrolet, presents a check for $25,000 to Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director, Donnell R. White and Detroit Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.

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Laroy Williams, CFO, ChenicoMays, LLC, representing Leon C. Richardson (not pictured), President and CEO, ChemicoMays, LLC presents a check for $25,000 to Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director, Donnell R. White and Detroit Branch NAACP President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.

60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Kick-Off and Passing of the Gavel

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Detroit Branch NAACP 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Kick-Off and Passing of the Gavel ceremony held at the Roostertail. (from left to right) 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Hiram E. Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media and Publisher, Michigan Chronicle; 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Donna Stallings, Activist and Entrepreneur; 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Michael T. Ritchie, President, Comerica Bank – Michigan; 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair Gary Torgow, Chairman, Talmer Bancorp, Inc.; Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony; Mayor Mike Duggan; 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair, Mary T. Barra, CEO, General Motors Company represented by Vivan Pickard, President, General Motors Foundation and Eric Peterson, U.S. Vice President, Diversity Dealer Relations, General Motors Company; 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Dr. William Pickard, CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC; 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Charles Nolen, President, Michigan Black Bar Owners Association; and Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director Donnell White.

The Detroit Branch NAACP held its Kick-Off and Passing of the Gavel ceremony to officially launch the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner on
Thursday, February 12, 2015.  The 2014 Chairs passed the gavel to the incoming 2015 Chairs. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also purchased the first ceremonial ticket.  Additionally, the theme for the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner was unveiled. This year’s theme is:

Celebrating Freedom:
Measured by Practice, Treasured by Sacrifice

The 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at Cobo Conference Center. For tickets and sponsorship information please contact the Detroit Branch NAACP at (313) 871-2087.

2015 Senior Corporate Chair
Mary T. Barra, CEO, General Motors Company

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60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair, Mary T. Barra, CEO, General Motors Company represented by Vivan Pickard, President, General Motors Foundation and Eric Peterson, U.S. Vice President, Diversity Dealer Relations, General Motors Company present a check for $250,000.

2015 General Chair
Dr. William Pickard, CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC

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60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Dr. William Pickard presents a check for $100,000. (from left to right): Donnell R. White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP; Don Allen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Global Automotive Alliance; Bregitte Baddock, Materials Manager, Vitec/Global Automotive Alliance; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP; Terri Moon, Executive Vice President, Vitec; Dr. William Pickard, CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC and Sylvester Hester, Vice Chairman and Chief Operations Officer, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC.

2015 General Co-Chair
Charles Nolen, President, Michigan Black Bar Owners Association

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60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Charles Nolen, President, Michigan Black Bar Owners Association presents a check for $25,000 to Detroit Branch NAACP Executive Director Donnell White and Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony.

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan purchases the ceremonial 1st ticket for the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. (from left to right): Donnell R. White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP and Mayor Duggan.

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Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate Chair Gary Torgow, Chairman, Talmer Bancorp, Inc is presented with a plaque by Donnell White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Michael T. Ritchie, President, Comerica Bank-Michigan, is presented with a plaque by Donnell White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Donna Stallings, Activist and Entrepreneur, is presented with a plaque by Donnell White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Hiram E. Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media and Publisher, Michigan Chronicle, is presented with a plaque by Donnell White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

 

Detroit Branch NAACP Hosts Successful 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner

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Over 300 youth came together for a special performance at this year’s 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.

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(from left to right): U.S. Senator Carl Levin; U.S. Congressman Gary Peters; U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow; Shaun Robinson, Co-Host, Access Hollywood; Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Harvard Law Professor; Mayor Mike Duggan and Rev. Dr. William Barber, North Carolina State Conference NAACP President and Leader of Moral Mondays.

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59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Awardees (from left to right): Chris Gary, representing D-15; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP; Tonya Allen, President and CEO, Skillman Foundation; U.S. Congressman John Dingell;U.S. Senator Carl Levin; Rev. Dr. William Barber, President, North Carolina State Conference NAACP and Leader of Moral Monday and Ricardo Johnson, representing D-15.

The Detroit Branch NAACP hosted another successful Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner on Sunday , May 4, 2014 at Cobo Conference Center. Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. served as this year’s keynote speaker. United States Senator Carl Levin and United States Congressman John Dingell both received the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other awardees included Tonya Allen, President and CEO, Skillman Foundation, was the recipient of the Great Expectations Award; Rev. Dr. William Barber with the Ida B. Wells Freedom and Justice Award and Detroit 15 (D-15) with the Mary Church Terrell Freedom and Justice Award. Special Guests to this year’s Dinner were Shaun Robinson, co-host of Access Hollywood and Bryan Smiley, former Detroit Branch NAACP ACT-SO contestant and currently the Manager of Home Entertainment and New Business Development for New Regency Productions at 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. Smiley was instrumental in paving the way for 12 Years A Slave.

One of the many highlights of the evening included a special performance by over 300 youth which made everyone Happy!

The Detroit Branch NAACP would like to thank all of the Dinner Chairs, sponsors, top ticket sellers, volunteers, Executive Committee and staff who helped to make the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner a success!

Detroit Branch NAACP Announces Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. as Keynote Speaker

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The Detroit Branch NAACP held a press conference to announce Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. as the Keynote Speaker for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. Ogletree is a well known lawyer, civil rights educator, author, constitutional expert and people motivator. He is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

Another special highlight announced for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner was the Youth Entertainment Corp. The Freedom Fund Dinner Youth Entertainment Corp will receive an opportunity to perform at the Freedom Fund Dinner. It is open to youth ages 15-19. All interested youth should attend the Detroit NAACP Youth Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 16 at 6:00 P.M. at the Detroit Branch NAACP office.

Additionally, Tonya Allen, President and CEO, Skillman Foundation was announced as this year’s recipient of the Great Expectations Award. Special Guests to this year’s Dinner will include Shaun Robinson Co-Host Access Hollywood and Bryan Smiley, former Detroit Branch NAACP ACT-SO contestant and currently the Manager of Home Entertainment and New Business Development for New Regency Productions at 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. Smiley was instrumental in paving the way for industry support of 12 Years a Slave.

The 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner will be held on Sunday, May 4 at 5:00 P.M. at Cobo Conference Center. For more information please call (313) 871-2087.

Click the link to read the full text of Detroit Branch NAACP’s President, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony’s remarks given during the press conference.
Keynote Speaker Press Statement

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Detroit Branch NAACP Announces Honorees for 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner

The Detroit Branch NAACP held a press conference to announce the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement and Freedom and Justice Awardees for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. For the first time the Detroit Branch NAACP will have two James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement recipients. The James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement awardees are United States Congressman John Dingell (D-Michigan, 12th District) and United States Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan). North Carolina State Conference NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays protest in North Carolina will receive the Ida B. Wells Barnett Freedom and Justice Award. Detroit 15 (D-15), advocates for fair wages for fast food and retail workers, will receive the Mary Church Terrell Freedom and Justice Award.

During the press conference Talmer Bancorp, Inc was also announced as the Senior Corporate Chair and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan purchased the ceremonial first ticket.

To read Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony’s press statement

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please click the link below. Tickets, tables and sponsorships are available now! For more information please call (313) 871-2087.

NAACP_Press Statement_Fight For Freedom Dinner 2014

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Front Row (from left to right)
Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Donna Stallings, Community Activist and Entrepreneur and Linda Forte, Senior Vice President, Comerica Bank representing 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Chair Michael T. Ritchie, President, Michigan Market, Comerica Bank.
Back Row (from left to right)
David Provost, President and CEO, Talmer Bancorp Inc.; Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Senior Corporate

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Chair Gary Torgow, Chairman, Talmer Bancorp Inc.; Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP; Detroit Branch NAACP 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner General Co-Chair Hiram Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media and Publisher, The Michigan Chronicle and Donnell R. White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP presents Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan with the ceremonial first ticket for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.

Detroit Branch NAACP Hosts Kick-Off for 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner

The Detroit Branch NAACP held its kick-off for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner on Wednesday, January 15 at the Roostertail.  The kick-off was held to recognize and thank the Dinner Chairs from the 58th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner and introduce the theme and Dinner Chairs for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.

Comerica Bank was announced as the General Chair for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.  The theme for this year’s Dinner is:

1964 -2014…50 Years Later
One Man’s Commitment…One Nation’s Promise

The theme encompasses several major events that happened in 1964 – the jailing of Nelson Mandela in South Africa because of his commitment to freedom, justice and equality; the signing of the Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson and the launch of the War on Poverty. It also reflects the promise of American democracy in the election of President Barack Obama.

The 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at Cobo Conference Center in Detroit.  For more information on tickets and sponsorships please call 313-871-2087.

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Holding the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Ceremonial 1st Ticket are (from left to right) Donnell R. White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP; Dr. O’Neil Swanson, Owner, Swanson Funeral Home; Atty. Melvin Butch Hollowell, Corporation Counsel, City of Detroit; Honorable Brenda Jones, Council President, Detroit City Council; Honorable Andre Spivey, Council Member, Detroit City Council and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Detroit Branch NAACP announced Comerica Bank as the General Chair for the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. (from left to right) Donnell R. White, Executive Director, Detroit Branch NAACP; Patricia McCann, Vice President/National Civic Affairs Manager, Comerica Bank and Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.

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Guests at the 59th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner Kick-Off at the Roostertail.

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Detroit Branch NAACP recognized Leon Richardson, President and CEO, ChemicoMays, LLC for serving as the General Co-Chair for the 58th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner. Accepting the award on Mr. Richardson’s behalf was LaRoy Williams.

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Gregory Jackson, President and CEO, Prestige Automotive — Jackson Automotive Management is acknowledged for serving as General Co-Chair for the 58th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.