Hundreds are scheduled to gather from across the county to honor local community leaders during the NAACP 41st Annual Freedom Fund Banquet to be held tomorrow evening. The dinner will be held at the Double Tree Hotel, 210 Holiday Court, Annapolis, MD 21401 at 7:00PM.
This year’s theme “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice” will highlight the accomplishments of county students, educators, business, government and grass roots leaders. The keynote speaker for the evening is Mr. Benjamin Todd Jealous, former National President of the NAACP.
“We are very excited to present awards to several distinguished members of our community for their invaluable contributions toward “forming a more perfect union” in Anne Arundel County,” said Rev. Stephen Tillett, AACO NAACP Branch President.
President’s Award recipients: Dr. Shawn Ashworth, Ms. Carlesa Finney, Dr. Akeda Pearson, Mr. Leslie Stanton, Dr. Leon Washington and Ms. Johnnie Dianne Williams all attached to the former Office of Equity and Human Relations in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) who contributed to significant progress in narrowing the Achievement Gap. Ms. Finney, called “the conscience of the AACPS” by former Superintendent Dr. Kevin Maxwell, and her staff will be recognized for their accomplishments.
Freedom Fund Award recipient: Ms. Veronica Grant, is one of the chief organizers of The Village – Back 2 Basics community uplift organization.
Marie C. Hollins Humanitarian Award recipients: Otis Duffie and Erica Matthews. Mr. Duffie is actively involved in community outreach at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover, MD and is also President of the West County Democratic Club. Ms. Matthews is the Program Director for Energy Assistance programs at the Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency.
Business Award Recipient: Mr. Derek Matthews is the owner of Gemini Consulting LLC and is an expert in Emergency Preparedness, Risk Consulting and security.
Youth Award Recipient: Ms. Maya B. Long is a junior at Arundel High School