“Steadfast and Immovable” the 95th SF NAACP Freedom Fund Gala at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Honorees pose with SF NAACP President; (left to right) John William Templeton, Jerry Barnado, Jr., Mike’l Delfon Gregory, NAACP President, Rev. Amos Brown, Sr., Dina Edwards, Dr. Maxine Hickman and Carol McGruder. Photo by Adrion Anderson.
The San Francisco NAACP (SFNAACP) recently hosted its 95th Freedom Fund Gala at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. While delivering the keynote address Bishop Dr. William J. Barber, II’s speech reflected the event’s title; Steadfast and Immovable.”
While discussing the critical state of the country, he cited the damage caused by Donald Trump and the current administration. He also explained how the country’s leadership has used divide and conquer tactics throughout the nation’s birth. He called on audience members to reverse this moral crisis in the United States by working together to end voter suppression, re-districting, and all the areas impacted by systemic racism.
“We are living in an age of moral crisis,” he said. “What are we going to do about it?”
Bishop Barber is the President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for Moral Revival. The pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro North Carolina has also penned several books including, “Revive Us Again: Vision and Action In Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction; Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and The Rise of a New Justice Movement.
Barber has turned his words into action by creating the Forward Together Moral Movement that has gained national recognition with its Moral Monday protests at the state legislature in North Carolina. This year, he led a historical number of protesters at state capital to embrace a moral public policy agenda. Barber, a national NAACP board member, also encouraged audience members to join the NAACP and the movement. Currently he is a Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Throughout the event, the Amos C. Brown Heritage Chorale performed music selections as the SFNAACP recognized several individuals for their outstanding work in the community. Honorees included Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals and Carol McGruder, founding member of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) received the Public and Community Service Award.
The Community Activist Award was presented to Historian John William Templeton and Riordan High School Black Student Union President and District 10 Youth Commissioner, Mike’l Delphine Gregory, received the Youth Award. Educator Dina Edwards of Sheridan Elementary School in the San Francisco Unified School District received the Education Award and Dr. Maxine Hickman President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) San Francisco Chapter and Executive Director of Trinity Foster Family Services was presented the Business and Professional Award.
“Being honored by the NAACP is such an honor because the organization has paved the foundation for many of the freedoms we enjoy today” said Hickman.
The Historical Legacy Award acknowledged the San Francisco State Black Student Union of 1968 to 1969 for their 5-month “Strike Out,” protesting racism and demanding an increase in minority student enrollment. As a result of the striker’s efforts, the Departments of Black Studies and Ethnic Studies were founded at San Francisco State University.
SFNAACP President, Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, Sr. also called on a State of Emergency for African American students in the San Francisco Unified School District. Contact the SFNAACP for more information on the crisis and how you can help, visit: www.sfnaacp.org