March 4, 2024
Annapolis, US 54 F

NAACP to hold Freedom Fund Banquet on Friday evening

Many are scheduled to gather from across the county to honor local community leaders during the NAACP’S 44th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet. The dinner will be held at the Double Tree Hotel in Annapolis, MD on Friday, November 16th at 7:00PM.

This year’s theme “Unity Power Justice” will highlight the importance of members of the community working together in unity. The keynote speaker for the evening is Dr. Jason Nichols – Professor of African American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park and frequent guest on Fox News & the One America News Network. The Master of Ceremonies for the 44th Annual Freedom Banquet will be – Mr. Darius A. Stanton, host of the Peace in The Morning Show.

President’s Award recipients: Rev. Dr. Carletta Allen, Mrs. Toni Strong-Pratt, Rev. Ryan Sirmons and Pastor Tim Stern. These awardees are co-founders of the recently formed group Anne Arundel Connecting Together (ACT). ACT is a collective of local churches and community organizations that are seeking to impact on the political decisions that involve affordable housing, transportation, zoning, and education in the county. Dr. Allen, Senior Pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church, Annapolis. Toni Strong-Pratt, Community Advocate in Annapolis. Rev. Ryan Sirmons, Pastor at The United Church of Christ of Annapolis. Pastor Tim Stern,  Pastor at Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church.

Freedom Fund Award recipients: Ms. Vickie Gipson and Mrs. Brenda Wintrode. Gipson is a lawyer and community activist that recently won a seat as a Judge of the Anne Arundel County (AAC) Orphans Court. She is also a member of the Caucus of African American Leaders and the AAC NAACP. Wintrode is a freelance writer and civil rights advocate, and serves as Political Action Co-chair for the Maryland State Conference NAACP Political Action Committee.

Marie C. Hollins Humanitarian Award recipient: Pastor Jay Offer is the founding pastor of Harvest Crusade Ministries in Glen Burnie. Pastor Offer also serves as the Community Ambassador at Chesapeake High School. He has played a pivotal role in bringing the community together in the northern portion of the county after last year’s racial tension at Chesapeake High.

Business Award Recipient: Mr. Deonte Ward is the CEO of Black Wall Street Annapolis, LLC. His company has played a significant role in providing positive job opportunities for youth in the City of Annapolis.

Youth College Award Recipient: Miss Nashara Hilton is a student at Towson University and currently serves as the AAC NAACP Youth and College Division President. She has represented the Division at rallies like the March for Our Lives, and “Students for a Safer Maryland”.

Youth Middle and High School Award Recipients: Miss Marisela Padilla, of Arundel Middle School, Miss Monique Ward, of MacArthur Middle School, Miss Hannah Eastman of Queen Anne High School, and Mr. Jordan Keemer of Chesapeake High School.

All Youth and College awardees have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, community involvement and all are members of the newly established AAC NAACP Youth and College Division.

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