• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Speaker Ben Jealous: NAACP all inclusive

By President Joe Mallory

Cincinnati NAACP president

and Vanessa Y. White, Ph.D.

Freedom Fund Committee Chair

The Cincinnati NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner was held this year on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Duke Energy Convention Center. It was extremely well-attended and was an elegant affair. featuring keynote speaker, Benjamin Jealous, a Civil Rights leader and social impact investor, who served as the past President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2008 to 2013. 

Jealous reminded those in attendance that it was during the 2008 National Convention in Cincinnati that year, that he was named President and sworn in. Many were unaware of his various ties to the area. He shared he was in Cincinnati and participated with the civil unrest that culminated in 2001 as a result of the fatal shootings of 15 Black men by police, as well as his personal ties in Ohio, particularly his close familial relationship with comedian Dave Chappelle. 

Jealous reminded us that the NAACP is not just an organization for and powered by Black people, not that it wouldn’t be enough if it were so. But, this organization is a collective effort by individuals from all races and ethnicities with one thing in common, and that is humanity. That the catalytic moment of the founding involved a lynching, but that the continually driving force has been the ongoing necessity for advocacy for all disenfranchised persons. Spotlighting that through the years, the organization has stood for the rights of many, from the Irish to the Chinese communities and helping others who are not exactly the individuals who come to mind when most think about the NAACP. It has been a tried and true hub for change and diversity as possible, where many from dissimilar backgrounds join forces for the same causes, to advance the fight for Civil Rights. He encouraged all to keep fighting and to resist for as long as there are causes worth resisting, reminiscent of Dr. King’s 1963 message that, “A threat to justice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

Bishop LaVelton Daniel and Chandra Mathews-Smith.
Community Outreach Partnership recipients: Bishop LaVelton Daniel, Senior Pastor of Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple (Individual); Chandra Mathews-Smith, United Way, Chief Community Engagement Officer (Non-Profit); Western & Southern Financial Group (Corporate).
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Meanwhile, the meal was truly delightful, as there were soul food-inspired plates created by Chef Purvill Chaney, who was also brought on stage and applauded.

At last, the highlight of the evening was recognition of the 2022 awardees who were recognized by the Cincinnati Branch NAACP for their work for and on behalf of the community: 

In closing there were final remarks by President Joe Mallory about what else … voting! As a  knowledgeable and staunch champion of voters’ rights, he reminded us that “voting is not a spectator sport.” Also, all in attendance were encouraged to become members of the NAACP and to become active in the organization to help enact the change that we hope to see.

It’s quick and easy to join. You can do so online at CINCINNATINAACP.COM or you can call the office, at (513) 281-1900 and pay by phone. You can also visit the office, at 3494 Reading Road Cincinnati, 45229. Remembering that as the local mantra goes, with the Cincinnati NAACP – YOU Are The Movement!