The Greater Texarkana, Texas, Branch of the NAACP held its 50th annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet
The Greater Texarkana, Texas, Branch of the NAACP held its 50th annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 26 at the Texarkana, Texas Convention Center. Texas A&M University was a major sponsor of this noteworthy event, which was attended by several members of the faculty, staff, and student body of the university. With over 450 guests in attendance, the banquet featured keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and nine people received awards and recognition in the fields of business, education, politics, religion, and journalism. The winners were:
- Ms. Catherine Lyles, awarded the John J. Jones Sr. Community Service Award
- Dr. Ceretha Brown-Levingston, awarded the A. E. Alton/Mott Mosley Educational Award
- Mrs. Geanenita Darlington-Kelley, awarded the Dr. G.W. Thompson Professional Award
- Mrs. Dee Dee Woods and Mr. Billy Bland, awarded the Dr. Calvin Rolark Business and Economic Award
- Mrs. Jo Ann Rice, awarded the Special Achievement Award
- Pastor R.E. Ruffin, awarded the Religious Affairs Award
- Mr. Yul Edwards, awarded the Torchbearer Award
- Mr. Jerry Mitchell, awarded the President’s Award
Evers-Williams is a former National Chairwoman of the NAACP, and is a journalist and author of several books on topics related to the civil rights movement. Texarkana, Arkansas Mayor Wayne Smith and Texarkana, Texas Mayor Bob Bruggeman attended the event, reading a joint proclamation dedicating October 26, 2013 officially Myrlie Evers-Williams Day across both sides of the twin cities.
Evers-Williams final statement of her speech was one of encouragement... "We must not be relegated to the back of the bus again. Stand your ground for what you believe. Stand your ground for justice, freedom, and equality."