New Leader Council's very own Detroit Chapter Fellows Axel Cooley, Sean Harness, Royda Urey, Treasure Thomas, Lawrence Robinson and Adrienne Hill attended the 60th annual NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner on Sunday May 3rd at Detroit's Cobo Center where Vice President Joe Biden delivered a powerful keynote address: "Detroit is 'Coming Back!'"
Vice President Joe Biden stated that America has "a lot of soul searching to do" in regards to souring police and community relations in recent months that have resulted in the deaths of several African-American men. Vice President Biden told Detroit NAACP Baltimore unrest should bring nation together, not splinter it apart. He also addressed some of the issues in funding community policing programs, which have led to situations such as those that have erupted in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri.
Biden also made it a point to acknowledge NAACP contributions as a civil rights organization, saying, "It's not possible to have civil rights without economic rights."
“We are extremely pleased that Vice President Joe Biden has accepted our invitation to come to the City of Detroit in celebration of the 60th Annual Fight For Freedom FundDinner,” stated Dr. Wendell Anthony - President, Detroit Branch NAACP. “As many may recall our first speaker was the Honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall. It is historically inspiring that 60 years later a tradition of excellence and outstanding achievement in the cause of freedom and justice will be continued by our Vice President. We invite everyone to share in this historic moment.”
The theme for this year's grand dinner was, “Celebrating Freedom: Measured by Practice, Treasured by Sacrifice,” paying homage to 50 years since the historic march in Selma (Bloody Sunday) which paved the way for the signing of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965. In addition, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was in attendance and gave remarks at the prestigious dinner as well.
Dr. Anthony announced the 2015 special awardees, who are: