By Susan Johnson

Cincinnati NAACP

The Cincinnati NAACP 2022 Freedom Fund Dinner will be held this year on Saturday, October 1, at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. Doors will be open at 6 p.m. The dinner will include recognition of individuals and organizations selected this year by the branch as awardees, for the work they have done in the community. There will also be entertainment featured by one of our bronze medal winning ACT-SO program participants. The keynote speaker this year is past National NAACP President and Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin Jealous, who has spent his entire professional career fighting for Civil Rights.

This year’s theme, “Powering Your Purpose,” is a call to action to each of us – that everyone has an opportunity to be a part of the vehicle that is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is honorable and worthwhile to join us. Together we can bring about the change that is necessary. By each bringing our individual talents, resources, and energies, we have an opportunity through the organization to become a part of the tremendous effort to achieve equity, ensure protections of political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and Civil Rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color. The branch’s local mantra, is “With the Cincinnati NAACP – YOU Are The Movement!”  

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was established in 1909 and is America’s oldest and boldest, largest and most renowned, well-equipped and most respected Civil Rights organization that exists. It was formed by both Black and White activists, specifically in response to the ongoing racial violence against African Americans around the country. 

Just as much now as ever, we focus every day on these key areas: voter education and empowerment, criminal justice reform, public safety, racial health disparities, and economic inclusion, among other aspects. We couldn’t do this work, and accomplish our goals, without the generous support of our community, and the financial support of our mission by our allies and partners. For sponsorship information or to donate, and if you want to become a member, call 513 281-1900, or visit the website at  We are ever seeking the participation of those aligned with our mission and goals. Such as the following award recipients, which we have the honor of spotlighting this year: 

2022 President’s Award Recipient, Ron Dumas

The President’s Award is the highest award given at the local branch level that is chosen by the branch president to recognize an individual that has been a pillar of the organization for their individual sacrifice and overall impact.

Ron Dumas, President’s Award. Photo provided

2022 Wright-Overstreet Memorial Award Recipient, Daronce Daniels, Lincoln Heights City Council, The Heights Movement

The Wright Overstreet Award was established in 1989 to honor the memories of two dedicated Civil Rights leaders, Rev. Samuel Ross Wright and Mr. Henry Overstreet Jr. Both men are recognized through this award for their work in the NAACP and in the community. the Rev. Wright, a minister in the United Methodist Church, was a past president of the NAACP and appointed to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission by the governor. Mr. Overstreet was a resolute union man who dedicated his efforts to supporting the NAACP.

Daronce Daniels, Wright Overstreet Award. Photo provided

2022 Theodore M Barry Award Recipient, Charles Johnson, Former Mayor of Forest Park, Former Forest Park City Council Member

The Theodore M Barry Award was established in 1995 to recognize outstanding achievement in the political arena and in service to the community.

Ted Barry established milestones early in his lifetime. He was Cincinnati’s first African American High School Valedictorian, Hamilton County’s African  American Assistant Prosecutor, and Cincinnati’s first African American Mayor, a position he served from ‘72 to ‘75. Mr. Barry spent 15 years on Cincinnati City Council. He resigned his council seat to accept an appointment as Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington D.C. He served as President of the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP for 10 years.

Charles Johnson, Theodore M. Barry Award. Photo provided

Empowering Education Award Recipient, Carlton R. Collins, Leading Men Fellowship 

The Empowering Education Award recognizes leaders in education, who greatly impact African American students in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

Carlton R. Collins. Empowering Education Award. Photo provided

Community Outreach and Partnership Awards 

Bishop LaVelton J. Daniel, Sr. Pastor of Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple, Individual

Bishop LaVelton J. Daniel, Community Outreach. Photo provided

United Way, Chandra Matthews-Smith, Chief Community Engagement Officer, Non-profit 

Western Southern, Corporate 

The Community Outreach Award recognizes the organization or persons that exemplify the values and mission of the NAACP in their outreach, efforts, and impact in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Inspiring Innovator Award Recipient, Rosemary Oglesby, Rosemary’s Babies

The Inspiring Innovator Award is given to organizations or persons who change the world we live in with their innovation and creativity.

Rosemary Oglesby, Inspiring Innovator Award. Photo provided

Distinguished Volunteer Award Recipient, Dr. Vanessa Y. White

The Distinguished Volunteer Award recognizes a very impactful volunteer of the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP and a trusted member that has over time dedicated their time, energy, and resources to help push forward the mission of the local branch of the NAACP.

Please join us as we educate, empower, and engage the community to help ensure the political, educational, social and economic equal rights of all. If you have any questions, we look forward to hearing from you.

Vanessa Y. White, Distinguised Volunteer Award. Photo provided

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