Saturday, October 7, 2023
6:00 p.m

Duke Energy Convention Center

The Cincinnati NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Dinner is a long-standing tradition that brings together NAACP members and community supporters to raise funds to support the operations of our local Branch. At the level where we have been working diligently to eliminate discrimination and inequalities for over a decade, since 1915, in 52 neighborhoods and our surrounding communities.

Our initiatives are needed as much now as they ever were. Every day we focus 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 monetary support of our mission by our allies and partners.

Keynote Speaker

Hakeem Jeffries

Hakeem Jeffries represents the diverse Eighth Congressional District of New York and is serving his sixth term in the United States Congress.

Rep. Jeffries is the Democratic Leader, having been elected to that position by his colleagues in November 2022. In that capacity, he is the highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.  He has served as a House Impeachment Manager in the Senate trial of former President Trump, the former Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus and previously co-chaired the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee where he helped develop the For The People agenda.

In Congress, Rep. Jeffries is a tireless advocate for social and economic justice. He has worked hard to help residents recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, reform our criminal justice system, improve the economy for everyday Americans and protect our healthcare from right-wing attacks.

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, Rep. Jeffries has been instrumental in House Democratic efforts to put people over politics by lowering costs, creating better-paying jobs and fighting for safer communities. Over the past two years Democrats have passed the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Last Congress, Rep. Jeffries was one of the most effective legislators, passing multiple bills through the House of Representatives and into law with substantial bipartisan and stakeholder support.  Such bills included measures to ensure veterans and their families have access to benefits information (H.R. 2093, Public Law No. 117-62), to measure the progress of recovery and efforts to address corruption, rule of law and media freedoms in Haiti (H.R. 2471, Public Law No. 117-103), to protect attorney-client privilege for incarcerated individuals corresponding electronically with their legal representatives (H.R. 546) and to eliminate the federal sentencing disparity between drug offenses involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine once and for all (H.R. 1693).

In the 115th Congress, Rep. Jeffries worked across the aisle as the lead Democratic sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act (S. 756, Public Law No. 115-391), a strong, bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that the President signed into law in December 2018.  Rep. Jeffries partnered with Congressman Doug Collins, a conservative Republican from rural Georgia, on the legislation, which is widely viewed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform effort in a generation.

While he remains committed to working diligently in Washington on behalf of New York’s Eighth Congressional District, Rep. Jeffries also works tirelessly to keep in close contact with constituents. In January, the Congressman begins each year with annual remarks to the district. During the spring and summer, he holds “Congress on Your Corner” outdoor office hours throughout the district. At each stop, the Congressman sets up a table in front of a local post office or on neighborhood corners where constituents are able to meet with him one-on-one.

Rep. Jeffries was born in Brooklyn Hospital, raised in Crown Heights and is a product of New York City’s public school system, having graduated from Midwood High School. He lives in Prospect Heights with his family.

Award Winners

2022 President’s Award Recipient

David Whitehead

Third Vice President, Political Action Chair & Voter Empowerment Chair

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.

Wright Overstreet Memorial Award

Fanon Rucker

Managing Attorney, The Cochran Firm, Ohio

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.

Theodore M. Berry Award

John Smith

Mayor, Silverton, Ohio

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

Community Outreach & Partnership Award (Individual)

Renee Mahaffey-Harris

President/CEO of the Center for Closing the Health Gap

Community Outreach & Partnership Award (Non-Profit)

Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

Community Outreach & Partnership Award (Corporate)

The Kroger Company

Distinguished Volunteer Award

Carmen Sanders

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.

Empowering Education Award

Tyran Stallings

Founder and Executive Director, D.A.D. Initiative

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

Inspiring Innovator Award

Lincoln Ware

Radio Talk Show Host, The Buzz

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

2023 Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Francie & John Pepper

Media Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Duke Energy Convention Center
Episcopal Retirement Services
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Humana Inc.
Metro Southwest Ohio
Prestige AV & Creative Services
United Way

Freedom Friends

Beloved Community Church
Center for Closing the Health Gap
Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority
Cincinnati Police Department
Duke Energy OH & KY
Green Umbrella
Laborers’ Local 265
Sheriff McGuffey
Standard Textiles
The Cochran Firm
U.S. Bank
UC Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
UFCW Local 75
Visit Cincy
Walker Funeral Home

Steadfast for Freedom

AFL-CIO Labor Council
American Jewish Committee (AJC) Cincinnati
Cincinnati African American Firefighters
Cincinnati Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation
Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Commissioner Denise Driehaus
First Financial Bank
Iron Workers Local 44
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 392
Serving Older Adults Through Changing Times (SO-ACT)
The PORT Authority
UC Health
Urban One/Radio One
Women Helping Women
Xavier University
YWCA Greater Cincinnati

Standing for Freedom

Friends of Seth Walsh
Greater Cincinnati Building & Construction Trades Council
Messer Construction Co.
SPARK Philanthropy

Table Sponsors

Black Folks Plan
Black Professionals
Christ Emmanuel Christian Fellowship
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Church of the Resurrection
Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs
Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
Cncinnati Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta
Commissioner Alicia Reece
Community Action Agency
Congressman Greg Landsman
David Whitehead
Duckworth Home Company
Fanon Rucker
Government Strategies
Hamilton County Office of Reentry
Hamilton County’s Election Officials
InoarG Yoga
Joe Mallory
Judge Dwane Mallory
Judge Janaya Trotter Bratton
Leonard Thompson
Mayor Aftab Pureval
McElrath-Slade Wholeness Institute
Miami University of Ohio
Mt. Zion Baptist Church Woodlawn
National Council of Negro Women
Orlando Sonza
Quinn Chapel AME Church
Quinn Chapel AME Usher Board
Raffel Prophett
Remington Road Group
RLH Pageants Unlimited
Robert Richardson
RoSho Awards
Sentinel Police Association
Sigma Gamma Rho
SO Act
Spectrum Reach
St. Xavier High School
State Rep Dani Isaacsohn
Talbert House
The Links
The Young’s
Top Ladies of Distinction
Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio
Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney