Detroit NAACP reminds us ‘freedom ain’t free’

Photo credit: Raquelle Harris for Steed Media 

The Detroit NAACP hosted their 62nd Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at Cobo Center in Detroit earlier this week. Possibly the largest fundraising dinner in the world, there were almost 10K citizens, dignitaries and politicians present. Keynote speaker Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a rousing speech which supported this year’s theme, “A New Era, The Same Cause … Justice!” It Is a familiar yet necessary mindset that urges us to persist with resistance during what Warren described as a “moment of crisis.” Senator Warren is known as an advocate for consumer protection, financial oversight, aging and labor issues.

She boldly noted that Trump does not like her because she challenges his policies that hurt the poor and middle class. “The fight against racism and inequality and ugliness in all its forms is a righteous fight. I will be part of that fight,” she said. “We will not be silent. We will fight the righteous fight.”

Fellow shero Congresswoman Maxine Waters received the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Giving kudos to her colleagues, she said that whenever the president of the Detroit NAACP, Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony calls her, “I stop what I’m doing and I listen to him because I respect him.” She expressed the opposite for Trump. “We now have a president who has disregarded and disrespected the historical contributions of many Americans, particularly African-Americans,” she said ” And in less than 100 days in office, he has jeopardized our health care system, environment and national security.”

Many of the women, including Senator Warren and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, wore white in support of causes such as equal pay for women. Continually engaged with the community, the Detroit NAACP arranged for the attendance of 200 deserving women.

Anthony, who is a longtime local and national leader, shared that educating the younger generation about the issues is a collective effort: “This is why we have this event. This is why we have the Art & Essay contest in the schools. That’s why we have the convention for young people from all across the country. That’s why we have Stops and Cops, so we can show them how to deal with police. We have a number of venues, but it’s not just us. It’s churches, it’s lawyers, it’s doctors, it’s teachers, it’s NAACP, it’s mamas and daddies and block clubs, and community groups—and journalists, people who believe that freedom ain’t free and we got a stake in this thang. It’s gon’ take all of us.”

Six youth from the Detroit Public Schools Community District received recognition for winning the Detroit NAACP’s Art & Essay contest.

The diversity of honorees and attendees at the gala shows how the fight for justice and equality remains one on which we cannot and will not waver.

Photo Credit: Raquelle Harris for Steed Media except where noted
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