The Hanover County Branch NAACP hosted its Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on May 28, 2016, at 4 p.m. at the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center at Virginia Union University.
This year’s theme of the program was “Defending Freedom.” In addition, we also honored Our Veterans, reflecting the organization’s mission of “ensuring the political, educational, and social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
The program’s keynote speaker this year was Reverend Dr. James E. Coleman, Jr., Director, and Doctor of Ministry of Ministry Program at Virginia University of Lynchburg.
The evening began with a call to order by the program’s Mistress of Ceremony Mrs. Reba Hollingsworth, WTVR Morning Anchor/Reporter followed by a solo by Mrs. Hattie Weatherless.
“The struggles (for civil rights) that our parents and grandparents fought still continue. Those who would take away hard-earned rights take note: A new generation has taken up the challenge. As we march on this America’s ‘Journey for Justice,’ we say to everyone, ‘We will not turn around!’ ”
With those words, Cornell W. Brooks, national NAACP president and CEO, brought an audience at Virginia Union University to its feet.
He spoke last week at a VUU rally marking the arrival in Richmond of marchers on the 860-mile journey to the nation’s capital to push for justice, equality and voting rights.
The march began Aug. 1 in Selma, Ala., and ended Tuesday when participants entered Washington for a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a presidential candidate, were among the array of speakers at the rally.
On Wednesday, the marchers capped their journey with a walk to Capitol Hill to call on members of Congress to revitalize and strengthen the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, to support more sustainable jobs with living wages, to endorse criminal justice reforms and to back education equity and access to health care for all.
“We march today as our predecessors marched 50 years ago as an affirmation of our hope and a firm belief that our efforts will bring about change,” Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, explained in a release.
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