MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mid-South put a lot of things on hold because of the coronavirus but one thing it did not stop is this year’s NAACP Freedom Fund Luncheon.
Organizers moved the event from April to this Saturday, and from in-person to virtual. They say it’s important to hear from leaders of the group during a time like this.
“Voter turnout is as important this year than it has ever been in my lifetime,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said. “As African Americans as individuals across all communities we must ensure that we go to the polls and participate at a level that we have not seen in recent memory.”
The theme of this event is “say less, do more, vote.” It’s designed to raise money for the Memphis branch of the NAACP and recharge the community’s commitment to equality.
Organizers say that’s especially important in today’s climate of civil unrest over how blacks and others are policed in our society.
“If the mission of the NAACP was pertinent during 1909, during our founding, that mission still rings true today,” Johnson said, “creating a society to improve the quality of life of African Americans and other disadvantaged communities and fighting against discrimination.”
Johnson, a lawyer, talked about the organization’s other big fight — the two-year-old face-off with Facebook. He wants the social media platform to change its policy of allowing white supremacists and other hate groups to buy ads and recruit alongside brand names.
“Anytime white supremacist groups and racial hate groups are able to meet up on the platform recruit additional members and carry out deeds that cause harm on others, there needs to be some guard rails put in place to prevent that,” he said.
The Memphis chapter has a list of sponsors already committed to financially support this year’s Freedom Fund, but it’s not too late to join. Follow this link for details.
Julian Castro, former HUD secretary, will also be speaking at Saturday’s event. WREG’s own Stephanie Scurlock will serve as the mistress of ceremony.