Freedom Fund Banquet will tout local NAACP’s accomplishments and will highlight the work left to be done.
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
When the Volusia County/Daytona Beach NAACP meets for its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on June 10, there will be discussion about what’s next locally for the civil rights organization.
The organization has been an active force in the community and most recently led the protests against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as Bethune-Cookman University’s commencement speaker earlier this month.
The local NAACP united with students, alumni and community residents in their effort to get the university to rescind its offer for DeVos to speak.
“United We Stand’’ is the theme of this year’s banquet, which will include awards to area residents as well as scholarships to deserving students.
The banquet will begin at 7 p.m. at the the Daytona Beach Hilton Ocean Walk Resort, 100 North Atlantic Ave.
Plenty of concerns
NAACP President Cynthia Slater said the local civil rights organization is working locally and statewide to get things done.
“We are working very closely with the school district and Superintendent (Tom) Russell on some things that we want to see accomplished as well as minority hiring and budget concerns. The Florida Legislature has proposed cutting $10 million from our local school system. We are always working to build relationships,” Slater told the Daytona Times.
The NAACP is a national and local force ensuring voting rights.
Slater said, “We are always looking at legislative issues when it comes to voters’ rights. There is so much at stake. We must be ready for the 2018 governor’s race that we must really be cognizant of.
Registering people to vote is always one of our greatest issues. Politics is a big issue. We’ll be lost as a people if we don’t vote, educate voters and mobilize voters.”
There aren’t many reports on voting rights infringements here locally, Slater noted.
“Not too much locally as nationally. One thing we must maintain is our relationship with our county Supervisor of Elections. We must keep up with laws and assure that there are no discriminatory actions taking place during elections. We keep an eye out on what happens on a state level, but the important thing is to make sure that no discriminatory problems during local elections,” she explained.
Employment is another fight.
“You can’t do anything if you don’t have a job. We want to make sure that in this community that new employers come into this area hire people in our own community as well as existing entities hire and promote people,” expressed Slater.
The local NAACP touts its relationship with local law enforcement.
Slater said, “We are happy for Daytona Police Chief Craig Capri and Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood. We want to keep that positive relationship.”
Slater is pleased that this year’s banquet speaker will be author and businessman Clifton L. Taulbert.
Taulbert, a former banker, is president and founder of the Freemount Corporation, which consults on human capital development and organizational effectiveness.
He is the author of the book, “When We Were Colored,’’ which was turned into a feature film that starred Phylicia Rashad. He also has published the “Eight Habits of the Heart for Educators’’ and “Who Owns the Ice House: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur.’’ He just released the book, “The Invitation.’’
“He is probably one of better speakers that we can have today. He stands for education and building strong communities. We hope he speaks on that. We have a lot of issues in our community,” Slater noted.
“Many things have been hidden for so long that are coming forward with politics in this nation which are dividing us,’’
‘Power of community’
Taulbert told the Times that he’s honored to speak at the banquet.
“I will speak on the power of community and how ordinary individuals can bring about transformative change,’’ he said.
Taulbert sees the NAACP as relevant as ever.
“Anytime that people come together to build community and change that is a good thing. The process is always relevant because we are human. Relevancy always reflects the times. Having a forward focus is always relevant and will always be,” explained Taulbert.
He added, “The NAACP is very important part of my life. I know all about it growing up in the Mississippi Delta. I got to see it. I remember what was, what happened and what can be in the future.’’
Taulbert believes in building communities for future generations.
“World change is inevitable and always must be done on the ground. The most important job now is for us – people like me is to ensure a strong community for those that come after us. We owe them. We have a responsibility to let them know what can be and what is expected to be,” he added.
For ticket information, call 386-255-3736.