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!

Allies, Issues & Actions with Tom Barrow

Guest Speaker Tom Barrow expresses his concerns with the integrity of the 2013 Mayoral Election.

Tuesday, September 24th the Allies, Issues, and Action meeting was eye opening to say the least. Not only was it National Voter Registration Day, but it was also a big day for the Detroit mayoral recount. Our guest speaker was Tom Barrow, former candidate for Mayor. Barrow, completely immersed in the re-count effort of the 2013 Mayoral elections, opened his remarks by highlighting his extensive background as a fighter for Detroit. He indicated that he is not bitter from losing the election, and stressed the importance of fighting for Detroit! He quoted in the meeting, “There is a sophisticated effort designed to take the City from individuals like me and you!” While focusing on the 2013 elections recount, he also drew attention to similar instances of perceived illegalities in our election system in the previous 2009 elections. “I learned from my mistakes”, Barrow said, as he discussed the differences in his 2013 bid for mayor as opposed to his 2009 bid. “This time around we were prepared with Challengers at every precinct. We also had Challengers inside of COBO Hall, watching as the Department of Elections counted absentee ballots.”

Barrow explained that the handwriting on many ballots in the write-in section was the same handwriting on almost all ballots. Barrow also explained that in some precincts there were more counted ballots than people who signed the poll book. “This election was rigged!” Barrow said, “It’s not just the city but our Democracy that’s being stolen from us!”

Congressman John Conyers pledges his support to advocate for election protection on Capital Hill.

We were also joined by the Dean of Politics, Congressman John Conyers and Gina Avery, Deputy Director of Elections from the Department of Elections. Mrs. Avery made no comment on Tom Barrow’s accusations, but she did mention, “Our staff at the Department of Elections works extremely hard every day to bring you the best and most up-to-date service while upholding our integrity.” Mrs. Avery brought voter registration forms, absentee ballot request and some important tips about voting in the 2013 Election. Mrs. Avery also gave us a quick update on Detroit Voters by the numbers. There are currently 536,000 registered voters in Detroit, 36,000 absentee voters in Detroit, and an expected 8% to 11% turnout in November.

We invite you to join us for our next Allies, Issues and Action meeting Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:00 A.M with guest speaker, Cathy Garret – Wayne County Clerk.