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Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023

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Youth-Honoree-Joshua-Peterson-w_-Dr.-Rev.-Jonathan-Butler-NAACP-Freedom-Fund-120223-1400x1050, Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023, Culture Currents Featured World News & Views
Joshua Peterson, one of the Youth Honorees, was excited as he and Dr. Rev. Jonathan Butler, NAACP looked on at the crowd at the Hyatt Regency hotel.

by Kevin Epps

The evening got capped off by the poetic words of Reverend Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III, the new dynamic leader of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, who succeeded the renowned Reverend Jesse Jackson. 

Mayor London Breed graced the reception from 6 to 7 PM, with the main program starting at 7.  She set the tone with her, “Where Fillmoe at” chants, and ending with, “I’m looking for some real transformative change with this new generation leadership.”

The Embarcadero provided a fitting backdrop for an event that brought together over 700 attendees, a diverse community united by a shared commitment to uplift and fight for a better future. Reverend Amos C. Brown, president of the SF NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church, welcomed the crowd, notably the largest assembly of predominantly Black individuals.

 

Crowd-at-the-annual-SF-NAACP-Gala-NAACP-Freedom-Fund-120223-1400x1050, Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023, Culture Currents Featured World News & Views
Crowd of attendees at the annual SF NAACP Gala gathered to honor each other.

Dr. Rev. Jonathan Butler, a young baby-faced brother, who is co-chair, beamed in pride as he sat looking out into the sea of people. “This is one of the largest crowds of Black people I have seen in the City in a long time,” said 20-something-year-old attendee Prince. 

Reverend Haynes, the keynote speaker, resonated with the crowd, delivering a captivating message with a rhythm reminiscent of rap lyrics, injecting youthful energy into the gala. 

Rev.-Dr.-Frederick-Douglas-Haynes-Karen-Roye-Reverend-Dr.-Jonathan-Butler-Reverend-Dr.-Amo-C.-Brown-NAACP-Freedom-Fund-120223-1400x1050, Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023, Culture Currents Featured World News & Views
At the podium, Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes III lyrical expressing keynote while others look on with excitement, Karen Roye, Reverend Dr. Jonathan Butler, clapping, Reverend Dr. Amo C. Brown. – Photo: Reverend Arnold Townsend. 

The event not only celebrated, but also honored eight local individuals who have been making outstanding contributions to the cause of full democracy and equal opportunities for all, from the grassroots up. 

Rick Callendar, President of the California-Hawaii NAACP State Conferences, shared opening remarks, and the distinguished honorees included Dr. Sheryl Davis, EdD, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Lateefah Simon, BART Board of Directors, currently running for Congress, honored with the Community Service Award. Geoffrea Morris, Esq., recognized with the Civil Rights Activist Award, drew cheers when she screamed “Hunters Point in the house!” A loud cheer erupted, underscoring the strong community bonds being celebrated. 

Rudy Corpuz Jr.‘s empowering slogan, “It takes the hood to save the hood,” resonated in the air, with his acceptance speech:  “To everybody that has done this work before I have, all of the elders, I take my hat off and applaud you all. Because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing this work, so thank you, we stand on your shoulders.”

Rev. Dr. Joseph Bryant Jr., Senior Pastor of Calvary Hill Community Church, in Bayview, presented with the Trailblazer Award; Rudy Corpuz Jr., Executive Director of United Playaz, “It takes the hood to save the hood” was recognized with the Public Service Award. 

The spotlight also shined bright on youth honorees, including Rachel Alcazar of Carlmont High School, President of the San Francisco NAACP Youth Council; Samantha Wint of Balboa High School and Joshua Peterson of Archbishop Riordan High School, Vice-President of the San Francisco NAACP Youth Council. 

Rachel-Alcazar-of-Carlmont-High-school-stood-before-the-crowd-NAACP-Freedom-Fund-120223-1400x1050, Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023, Culture Currents Featured World News & Views
Youth Honoree and Public Service Award winner, Rachel Alcazar, president of naacp youth council spoke to the large crowd.

The event’s theme, “Thriving Together,” echoed throughout, underscoring its immense significance in a time of immense challenges. The pursuit of a more inclusive and progressive society is paramount, especially in a City like San Francisco, that has failed to live up to its promise. 

The gala not only celebrated the accomplishments of the past year but also acknowledged the challenges and difficulties ahead, but with renewed commitment to the principles of democracy and opportunity in San Francisco, starting with the Black community. 

A unique collaboration unfolded as the NAACP and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition joined forces, emphasizing the shared vision for a better future. The evening concluded with a renewed commitment to eradicate barriers and foster a society where everyone can flourish.

Reverend Haynes’ keynote address resonated with the crowd, delivering a captivating message with a rhythm reminiscent of rap lyrics, injecting youthful energy into the gala. “Once the door is open, don’t just go in by yourself, tell everybody else to come in with you, and when we do that, we can thrive together. Pause, Let me give you Kendrick Lamar: All my life I had to fight, but if God got us, we gon be alright.”

Kevin Epps is a Dad, award-winning filmmaker, community activist, executive editor, SF Bayview “National Black Newspaper,” Chairman of the Board for the SF Bayview Foundation. Reach him: [email protected] ig: kevinepps1.

The post Wonderful turn out for the NAACP 10th annual Freedom Fund Gala on Dec. 1, 2023 appeared first on San Francisco Bay View.


Source: https://sfbayview.com/2023/12/wonderful-turn-out-for-the-naacp-10th-annual-freedom-fund-gala-on-dec-1-2023/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wonderful-turn-out-for-the-naacp-10th-annual-freedom-fund-gala-on-dec-1-2023


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