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Chicago Westside Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner Highlights the Work of Past and Present Civil Rights Activists

Chicago Westside Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner
Highlights the Work of Past and Present Civil Rights Activists


CHICAGO - The Chicago Westside Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP) will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the national organization at its annual "Freedom Fund Dinner." The event will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at the Turf Room of the Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie Ave. in Cicero, Ill.

The festivities will include a multimedia show, highlighting key events in Black America, which will be accompanied by monologues of famous speeches and stories written by key historical NAACP figures.

The monologues will include the following speeches: W.E.B. Du Bois' "An Appeal to the World;" Ida B. Wells-Barnett's, "This Awful Slaughter;" Walter White's "I Investigate Lynchings" and Thurgood Marshall's "Bicentennial"speech. Songstress Deborah Ross and the "Quick Reaction Dance Troupe," will pay homage to the organization's civil rights legacy through music and dance.

"We've included the actual words of NAACP members to highlight the significant role the organization has played in leading social change in America," said Karl Brinson, president the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP.

Local elected officials and activists such as, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL); radio talk-show host and the author of "Hang on to your Hat,"Dorothy Tillman; Professor William "Doc" Speller, Northeastern Illinois University; and Professor Robert Starks, Northeastern Illinois University Center for Inner City Studies, will talk about their efforts to ensure justice and racial equality.  Art Porter, the producer of the new "Morning Riot" radio show on WGCI-FM, will be the event's emcee.

The annual "Freedom Fund" is the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP's primary fundraising event, and allows it to continue the NAACP's legacy by empowering and educating the community. Money raised during the annual fundraiser allows the chapter to sponsor various events, such as housing workshops, health and employment fairs, as well as nurturing young leaders with the ACT-SO competitions (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics).
This yearlong enrichment program created by Chicago's own legendary journalist Vernon Jordan, is designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.  The program relies on the dedication and commitment of community and business leaders who volunteer as mentors and coaches to promote academic and artistic excellence.  Through this collaborative effort, participating students develop the confidence and skills needed to excel in school and in life.
"The NAACP has an admirable and productive past and yet there are still many disparities," said Vera Davis, past president and executive board member of the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP.  "We will continue to fight for equality as long as African Americans continue to lag near the bottom of the country in economics, education, employment, home ownership, and health." 
The NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The donation to attend the event is $65.00 per person or $100.00, which includes membership and a listing in the program book as a centennial patron. 
Please call Chicago Westside Branch NAACP to make your donation at 773.261.5890.

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