DETROIT – The Detroit Branch NAACP hosted a kick-off reception at the Roostertail, Tuesday. The private event officially launched the return of the 67th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner in the spring.
The gathering jumpstarts the planning and ticket purchasing process as the organization works to raise funds for its yearly operations and efforts toward community work and social justice.
“Rev. Wendell Anthony is the real $3-billion-dollar man”, said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Duggan was present for the kick-off event and made the ceremonial first-ticket purchase. Duggan recalled how he and the NAACP leader traveled to Lansing multiple times to advocate for equity and low car-insurance. After years of failed efforts, legislative success broke through and the idea the Governor could be in a position to offer auto insurance relief to drivers while insurance rates drop is a testament to the hard work and partnership of Rev. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP.
“As we look at what is happening in Ukraine as they are fighting for freedom and democracy, we have to have that same fight in America,” said Rev. Anthony. “They’re trying to take our vote, they’re trying to push us back, and were not going back.”
Rev. Anthony’s message to attendees was their freedom should not be taken for granted.
Ray Curry, President of UAW International, returns as Senior Community Chair for this year’s Freedom Fund Dinner and Gary Torgow returns as Senior Corporate Chair. The UAW and Huntington Bank each wrote a check to the Detroit NAACP for $150,000.
“We are extremely honored to be a part of the NAACP and the biggest dinner in the United States of America, said Gary Torgow, Chairman, Huntington Bank. “Our gratitude to Rev. Anthony for being the person that is leading us and teaching us and is the mentor that we need in this town and in this country.”
The theme of this year’s event is, “Freedom is Expensive, but Tyranny is Unaffordable.”
“People are trying to steal our freedom, said Rev. Anthony. His remarks are in reference to Republican party efforts in what he deems are challenges to deny people the right to vote. “We have bills stuck in the Senate, the John Lewis Advance the Voting Acts, For the People Voting Rights Act. The Senate has not passed it. Yet, they want to pass on the progress for the people in Ukraine, but they want to slow down and take back the progress of people in America. That won’t work.”
The Detroit Branch NAACP views the annual Freedom Fund Dinner as the “bedrock” of its fundraising efforts.
The annual dinner event has previously hosted presidents, congressional members, entertainers, and other prominent leaders as keynote speakers among 10,000 guests. The Detroit Branch NAACP 67th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner returns to the newly named Huntington Place on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5pm.