Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Xavier Jones
Telegram Media Specialist 

Western Wayne County NAACP 21st Annual Freedom Fund Dinner brought the community together

 

October 18, 2018

Mark Peguese

The NAACP's Western Wayne County Branch proved its mission of bringing citizens, government officials, community leaders and youth together for an elegant evening with a purpose. The theme for the event was criminal justice in the 21st century. The Woodlands of Van Buren Golf Course on a beautiful day in October was a perfect place for this event.

There are many goals that the branch seeks to accomplish. Ticket sales fund expenses and scholarships for students in the Western Wayne County area. This year the branch awarded two scholarships; one for $500.00 and another for $1000.00. The goal for next year is to add another scholarship.

Another goal of the dinner is to bring like-minded people in the same room to discuss civil rights, education and the state of the country. They also honored four people from the area for their service and the outstanding work they do for the community.

The honorees for the evening were Westland Councilwoman Tasha Green with the Great Expectations Award; Better Men Outreach with the Trailblazer Award; Madelyn Williams with the Community Service Award; Former Congressman John Conyers Jr with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Honorable Judge Greg Mathis was scheduled to present the keynote speech, but an emergency kept him away. Michael Turner from the Wayne County Sheriff Office graciously spoke in his place. He said, 'the messenger is only the vessel, as long as the message gets delivered.' Turner is also a National Board Member of the NAACP.

Pastor Velma Jean Overman served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the biggest freedom Fund Dinner that the Western Wayne County Branch had to date. Wayne County showed up in droves of elegance in attempts to combat the issues and take a step in the right direction. With talks of voter registration, criminal justice reform, and the reintroduction of the Western Wayne County's youth chapter. It seems the Western Wayne County Branch is making a healthy name for itself.

I Spoke with Branch President Gina Wilson Steward, Freedom Fund Chairperson and chapter 2nd Vice President Lisa Martin, and Voter Engagement Chairperson Judy Neal on their thoughts and expectations of the 21st Annual Freedom Fund Dinner.

Judy Neal - The Freedom Fund Dinner highlights the good work the branch has put in over the year. We're here to recognize our supporters as we build more of a collaborative effort with the residents in the twenty-four cities we represent.

Lisa Martian - We have hefty goals of pursuing civil rights to everyone. Bringing access to jobs, education and literacy to the cities we serve.

Mark Peguese

Gina Wilson Steward - The Freedom Fund Dinner raises money for next year's administrative expenses and scholarship awards that we give out. Of course we are here to honor outstanding persons in the community and provide a platform for like minds to discuss civil rights and social justice while spending time enhancing relationships and fellowshipping with others.

The sponsors for the Freedom Fund Dinner were Beaumont Health, DTE Energy, Inkster Ministerial Alliance and the Telegram Newspaper.

The Western Wayne County NAACP Branch was established June 28, 1947 as the Inkster Branch. For more information follow them on Facebook @western wayne county branch naacp or call 313-949-3133..

 

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